Physical distancing and risk of COVID-19 in small-scale fisheries: a remote sensing assessment in coastal Ghana

Okyere, Isaac, Chuku, Ernest O., Ekumah, Bernard, Angnuureng, Donatus B., Boakye-Appiah, Justice K., Mills, David J., Babanawo, Raymond, Asare, Noble K., Aheto, Denis W., and Crawford, Brian (2020) Physical distancing and risk of COVID-19 in small-scale fisheries: a remote sensing assessment in coastal Ghana. Scientific Reports, 10. 22407.

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Abstract

The novel coronavirus is predicted to have dire implications on global food systems including fisheries value chains due to restrictions imposed on human movements in many countries. In Ghana, food production, both agriculture and fisheries, is exempted from restrictions as an essential service. The enforcement of COVID-19 prevention protocols, particularly social distancing, has been widely reported in Ghana's agricultural markets whereas casual observations and media reports on fish landing sites suggest no such enforcements are in place. This study aimed to provide sound scientific evidence as a basis for informed policy direction and intervention for the artisanal fishing sector in these challenging times. We employed an unmanned aerial vehicle in assessing the risk of artisanal fishers to the pandemic using physical distancing as a proxy. From analysis of cumulative distribution function (G-function) of the nearest-neighbour distances, this study underscored crowding at all surveyed fish landing beaches, and identified potential "hotspots" for disease transmission. Aerial measurements taken at times of peak landing beach activity indicated that the highest proportion of people, representing 56%, 48%, 39% and 78% in Elmina, Winneba, Apam and Mumford respectively, were located at distances of less than one metre from their nearest neighbour. Risk of crowding was independent of the population at the landing beaches, suggesting that all categories of fish landing sites along the coast would require equal urgency and measured attention towards preventing and mitigating the spread of the disease.

Item ID: 66174
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Funders: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), National Geographic Society (NGS)
Projects and Grants: USAID - Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) (AID-641-A-15-00001), CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri‐Food Systems (FISH), NGS BEACHMON Project (Grant No. CP-107T-17)
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 18:42
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300599 Fisheries sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 50%
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