Plummeting global demand for fish and seafood as a result of the coronavirus crisis is likely to create an effect similar to the halt of commercial fishing during both world wars, when the idling of fleets led to the rebound of fish stocks.
The closure of restaurants and hotels, the main buyers of fish and seafood, together with the difficulties of maintaining social distancing among crews at sea have caused hundreds of fishing vessels to be tied up at ports around the world. Marine scientists have already started investigating the effects this will have on marine life.
"Studies after the first and second world wars showed a spectacular recovery,” said Carlos Duarte, a research chair at the Red Sea Research Center in Saudi Arabia. "We are hoping that this unintended closed season between February and June or July will accelerate the recovery of fish stocks and allow us to reach conservation objectives faster.”