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COVID-19 Economic Impact on Fisheries Workers
Virtual seminar presented by Dr. Tu Nguyen, Dalhousie University
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global fisheries. Restaurant closures, transportation and border restrictions, and surging demand for non-perishable seafood products are examples of supply and demand shifts in the seafood industry. Fisheries workers have been economically affected by these abrupt changes. While most governments were swift in issuing emergency COVID-19 assistance programs, fisheries workers were often overlooked due to the seasonal nature of the work and the lack of formal organization. When assistance reached fisheries workers, these polices were designed without the up-to-date data necessary for informed decision making. In this research, we develop a survey to study the economic impact of the pandemic on fisheries workers in Canada. We explore how various factors, including government financial assistance, contribute to workers’ general wellbeing, sense of financial security, and change in employment status. Findings from this study paint a rich picture of fisheries workers’ current economic situation and inform crisis management policy.
Bio: Dr. Tu Nguyen is an environmental and natural resource economist. She received her PhD in Applied Economics from Oregon State University and is currently an Ocean Nexus Fellow at Dalhousie University. She is part of Ocean Nexus Center, a collaboration between the University of Washington and the Nippon Foundation. Her research applies economic methods to understand the complex tradeoffs between development, conservation, and restoration in land, coastal, and ocean management. At the Ocean Nexus Center, she examines the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fisheries. As a former SESYNC Graduate Fellow, she explored the ecological-economic benefits of marine protected areas (MPA) under climate change.