Throughout 2020, as Covid-19 continued to hold the world at ransom, it became increasingly evident that the social, economic and political ramifications of the pandemic were causing as much damage as the virus itself. For example, for small-scale fishing communities in northern Andhra Pradesh, the lockdown coincided with peak fishing season and the annual seasonal closure for fishing. For many families, income was cut in half, and people were forced to reduce their food consumption to two meals a day.
The lockdown affected a large number of workers and the self-employed in India. In particular, fishing communities were badly hit by the cumulative effects of consumer fear, economic lockdown and a fishing ban.
The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust is a not-for-profit collective that supports fishers and their families. ICSF Trust works with marginalised marine and inland small-scale fishing communities in the states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra in India, through locally-based civil society organisations.
In 2020, many locally based civil society organisations, in partnership with ICSF Trust, stepped up to the challenge of Covid-19. Aid was delivered to those who needed it most – single women households, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In response to this support, one woman leader said, “It is not about how much is given and how many have received the benefit. It is about telling us that we have friends who care about us in these difficult times.”
This work falls under our Marine Conservation Sub-programme, which believes that maintaining the health of the oceans is critical for the future of people and the planet. You can find out more about our strategy here. Or click on this link to find out about our partner the ICSF Trust.