Access to markets for small-scale fisheries: challenges and opportunities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Miah, Md. Ruyel (2021) Access to markets for small-scale fisheries: challenges and opportunities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study views markets as social institutions and examines whether they enable or hinder access for small-scale fisheries, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic at a global and a national scale (Bangladesh), with a local case study in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. On a global scale, the study reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chains of fish and fisheries products worldwide, with serious consequences for small-scale fishers’ livelihoods and socio-economic conditions. However, the pandemic has also brought new opportunities for small-scale fisheries, including product and income diversification, alternative market arrangements, and flexibility in direct sales. At a country level in Bangladesh, similar effects are found in the production, distribution and supply, processing, markets, and food and nutritional security for small-scale fisheries. Finally, a case study was conducted in the Bangladesh Sundarbans to investigate the market structure and the governance of access to markets for the small-scale mud crab (Scylla serrata) fishery. The findings show that local traders or depo owners are the main actors governing both the domestic and the export mud crab supply chains, while small-scale fishers are invisible due to weak market arrangements and the absence of government policy to support them. The study recommends modifying the market governance structure based on the social dynamics of the stakeholders, institutional capacity, and interactions between the key actors to enhance the small-scale fisheries’ access to markets. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for countries around the world, especially for developing countries like Bangladesh, to build back the market structure better and stronger, also by addressing the pre-pandemic distortions made by the powerful players in the supply chains. Governing bodies and the stakeholders of the fisheries supply chains around the world could also learn from the present situation and use it as a basis for building viable and resilient small-scale fisheries when facing future crises.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15245
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 152-192).
Keywords: small-scale fisheries, SDG 14 target b, SSF guidelines, COVID-19 pandemic, mud crab fishery
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Small-scale fisheries--Economic aspects--Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India); COVID-19 (Disease)--Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India); Sustainable development--Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India); Scylla serrata--Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India.

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