Half-a-year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, strong impacts have already been observed in the small-scale fisheries sector along the West African coast.
Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. The country has an EEZ of 250 000 km2, and a coastal area extending over 32 960 km2. The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the country’s economy, and the contribution of this sector to national wealth keeps on growing. In 2013, the share of the agricultural sector (including fisheries and forestry) was 29.2%. 90% of the industries are located in the southern zone of the country, as well as the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, which support an intense maritime traffic of various goods and petroleum products. The country’s environment is characterized by a rich biodiversity – recent reports mention a total of 17,343 species found in Côte d’Ivoire. Aquatic ecosystems are home to 4,696 species, including many endangered species such as certain cetaceans (whales and dolphins), manatees and sea turtles. Marine biodiversity is the basis for important economic activities in the country, particularly fisheries: fish production is around 50,000 to 70,000 tons per year (all fisheries combined at sea). The coastal and marine area is an extremely important natural, economic, and cultural heritage for Côte d’Ivoire.