NOAA scientists released a new communications document connecting multiple social science surveys in the U.S. Caribbean. Findings from the Socioeconomic Component of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) resident surveys in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were used to contextualize findings from small-scale fisheries rapid assessments in these island jurisdictions six months into the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Results highlight that residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands believe coral reefs are important for providing an array of ecosystem services, many of which are vulnerable to climate change. Results also show the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on small-scale fishers and fish dealers. In 2020, U.S. Caribbean small-scale fishers and fish dealers perceived that COVID-19 had a negative impact on the economy, tourism, food for coastal communities, culture, and recreation. Together, this collaboration underscores the importance of protecting coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. Caribbean to support and sustain the livelihoods of coastal communities.
This effort resulted from cross-line office collaboration among NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and National Marine Fisheries Service.