The global spread of COVID-19 has triggered widespread economic chaos. Inshore fisheries appear to be at the front of it.
The order to shut restaurants and the closing of European borders have thrown Scottish fisheries into serious turmoil. Within days many small scale inshore boats were tied up in harbour. The spring has already been a brutal one with near persistent storms, and the collapse of export markets has added huge pressure. A few days later, many shellfish processors and vendors started closing up shop too.
Meanwhile, as has become an all too familiar sight on social media and in the news, communities began to panic buy food from mainstream supermarkets. Our precarious food system has suddenly come under massive strain and, whilst it seems like this is just a short term problem, it is momentarily struggling to keep up with demand.
The fact that many fishermen cannot find a market for their seafood whilst simultaneously communities cannot access adequate food supplies showcases an issue that has been known in the fishing industry for a long time – we export most of what we catch and we import most of what we eat. [Read more…]