A SILVER LINING OF COVID-19
In this scenario of Covid-19 Pandemic there may be a silver lining.It may provide the world with an opportunity to foster a sustainable ocean economy that puts people and ocean biodiversity first by saying no to harmful subsidies that leads to overfishing and over exploitation.
The double crisis of Covid-19 & ocean biodiversity depletion demand that governments worldwide should focus their spending that matter to us most,not to fund by jeopardising ocean biodiversity and livelihoods of millions & millions of people who depend on it.
The harmful fisheries subsidies for example estimated at $22 billion/year,the pandemic should be seen an opportunity to reach sustainable deal at the WTO to eliminate and/ redirecting this current harmful fisheries subsidies on the environment.
On the other hand government all around the world should reverse it by eliminating over fishing, overcapacity & illegal fishing activities as well as support a low carbon economic transition.
Government subsidies should be directed towards ocean biodiversity monitoring as well as climate change mitigation & adaptation projects that provide jobs to communities that have been disproportionately impacting over by overfishing & Oil & Gas exploration.
Ogoni people of Nigeria for example have been on the frontlines defending the environment & their human rights.Countries should support programmes that provide alternative economic opportunities to these warriors for environment & social justice while contributing to a sustainable ocean economy.
Over fishing is a pre-existing condition for fish stocks & therefore eliminating harmful subsidies by reducing overcapacity & illegal fishing will put fish stock in a position to withstand multiple stressors such as stemming from global warming,ocean acidification,deoxygeneration, plastic & other marine pollution.