Aquatic food systems under COVID-19

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 (WHO,
2020a). This declaration prompted emergency measures across the globe to contain the spread
of the disease. Taken as a whole, the virus and containment policies constituted a global shock,
leading to multiple disruptions to food systems at all scales, affecting both supply and demand
(Béné et al., 2021; FAO, 2020b). As a result of COVID-19, it is predicted that in 2020 a further 83 to 132 million people worldwide will become chronically undernourished (FAO et al., 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic therefore risks undoing decades of progress in reducing undernourishment globally (FAO et al., 2020; IMF, 2021). This joint FAO WorldFish brief takes stock of how the crisis has played out in aquatic food systems, synthesizing evidence on the effects experienced to date, and highlighting responses that can help improve resilience to future shocks.