Covid-19

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been swift and unsettling. It affects our lives in ways beyond imagining and has sent shock-waves to all sectors of the society, especially the most vulnerable populations. Knowing that this is not going to end soon, a key question is then how best to deal with it in the meantime.

TBTI Headquarters in St. John’s is joining forces with several colleagues and partner organizations to hire a number of international students based at Memorial University, as part of the ‘Covid-19 Job Initiative’. This was a way to provide a much needed job opportunity to students who have lost their income and financial support as a result of the Covid-19 closures. Many of these students found themselves in a truly perilous situation. At the same time, this was an opportunity for projects to continue despite the restriction in field- and lab-based research.

‘Covid-19 Job Initiative’ is a joint strategy, one that have been made possible with the generous support from our amazing partners, funders, and colleagues, as well as the hard work of our staff members and the research teams. About 40 students are hired through the TBTI,  Ocean Frontier Institute’s research Module I ‘Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean’, and the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program. 10 more students are hired by several faculty members at Memorial University from St. John's and Grenfell campuses. The students are enrolled in various graduate programs across faculties, including Engineering and Applied Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, and Business. They are conducting desk-based research on various topics and learning new skills.

Bright Young Faces

New to fisheries? Not a problem. This has proven to be the case with a group of students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Iran, Jamaica, Morocco, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other places around the world who are part of the Covid-19 Job Initiative, working for TBTI and OFI Module I. Many of them knew little or nothing about fisheries before they started working with us.

"I find learning about the policies that pertain to SSF very interesting, particularly the similarities between fisheries policies in different countries. It is, however, challenging to get a holistic idea about the laws and policies that govern SSF, as they are not explicitly defined." Mostafa El Halimi, Marocco

TEAM 1 - Exploring the impact of Covid-19 on SSF

One team of international students is working with TBTI and OFI Module I  to better understand the impacts of the current Covid-19 pandemic on small-scale fisheries and fishing communities across the globe. The aim is to found out how small-scale fishers are coping with changes brought by the pandemic and explore the kind of support they receive from governments and various others fisheries-related organizations.

TEAM 2 - Preparing for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

This team is working with OFI and Nippon Foundation Nereus Program on the issue of 'Sustainable Ocean Development: SDGs, SSF Guidelines, and preparing for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development'. Since the success of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will, in part, depend on the extent to which States implement policies supporting the UN SDGs and SSF Guidelines, the team explored how countries implementing these policies. The group also plans to examine synergies and trade-offs between SDGs and the SSF Guidelines in the context of Sustainable Ocean Development.

TEAM 3 - ‘Unlocking’ some legal and policy frameworks for small-scale fisheries

Since the endorsement of the SSF Guidelines in 2014, the collective efforts of States and a wide-range of stakeholders have been focused on its implementation. The numerous issues concerning small-scale fisheries, which law and policy should provide for are presented in the instrument but have not been examined from the legal perspective. In light of this need, this team conducted a targeted analysis of fisheries legislations and policies in some regions of the word with the aim of ‘unlocking’ some countries’ legal and policy frameworks and build on a preliminary understanding of how they address small-scale fisheries matters and related issues.

TEAM 4 - Vulnerability of small-scale fishing communities: Global reflections on lived experiences

While the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic are unprecedented and affecting societies at large, it is clear that small-scale fishers and their families, whose livelihoods depend solely on fisheries and who may already be living in poor conditions, are among the most affected groups. For many, the fishing way of live and the daily work came to a sudden halt, throwing them into a dire situation of food insecurity and health risks. This urgency drove the' SSF Vulnerability Assessment Team' to conduct a global rapid assessment to identify factors and processes that magnify vulnerability of small-scale fishers in 25 countries around the world.