FISH and partners faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in 2020. This required changes in operations and management to secure core lines of research and pivoting FISH research and innovations to support partners with arising challenges.
Early in the pandemic, FISH invested in monthly fisheries and aquaculture value chain assessments in Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Myanmar and Nigeria to track knowledge of COVID-19 impacts and formulate appropriate responses. Partners employed methods and principles developed by FISH to also bring insights from Kenya and Papua New Guinea.
These insights were complemented by ad hoc demand-led research on fisheries, aquaculture and community responses as well as methodological guidance, using largely bilateral funded projects. A dedicated COVID-19 portal was established to rapidly share content and disseminate relevant policy guidance, with a strong emphasis on assisting national partners and providing rapid feedback on results to users.
Cooperation was established with the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub and the CGIAR GENDER Platform to prepare a landmark participatory assessment of COVID-19 impacts on women fish processors and traders in Africa which provides a compelling foundation for intervention to secure the fish agri-food system livelihoods of women.