The effects of COVID-19 induced lockdown measures on maritime settings of a coastal region.

Abstract: 

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) caused an unprecedented implementation of lockdown measures across world's nations. Veneto Region, located in the North-Eastern Italy was one of the first maritime regions in Italy and Europe subjected to progressive lockdown restrictions. We systematically analyse the effects of national lockdown policies on maritime settings of the region using Automated Identification System (AIS) data from fishing vessels, passenger ships, tanker and cargo vessels collected through the Aqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (AAOT). We derive consequences on vessel activities during the March–April 2020 lockdown, by using a data-driven, comparative spatio-temporal analysis for vessel trajectories. Results show that compared to the same period of 2017, we found that vessel activity were reduced by 69% during the lockdown, fishing activities reduced by 84% and passenger traffic by 78%. We register a restart of fishing activity in the third week of April 2020. We suggest that the presented conceptual and spatial assessment protocol can guide future research on environmental and socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on marine realms and contribute to further interdisciplinary research with other marine scientific fields.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
October 2020
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Shipping
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management

QUESTIONS THIS PRACTICE MAY HELP ANSWER:

  • What were the effects of the COVID-19 induced lockdown measures on maritime activities in the Veneto Region?

IMPLEMENTATION CONTEXT:

The study was carried out by the Renewable Energy Group of the University of Exeter (UK) and the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice (Italy).

ASPECTS / OBJECTIVES:

The aim of the research was to assess the effects of the COVID-19 induced lockdown measures on maritime activities in the Veneto Region (Italian Adriatic Sea), Europe's first maritime region subjected to lockdown measures.

METHOD:

National lockdown measures with an effect on maritime settings were reviewed. A spatial and temporal comparative analysis on vessel traffic during lockdown was performed.

MAIN OUTPUTS / RESULTS:

The study demonstrated that the lockdown measures decreased vessel activity in the assessment period. Fishery and passenger vessels were the most affected by lockdown measures. The availability of the AAOT in the coastal area can provide a valuable research infrastructure for future research on the ecological and socio-economic effects induced by the lockdown.

TRANSFERABILITY:

The conceptual and spatial assessment protocol can guide future research on environmental and socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on marine realms and contribute to further interdisciplinary research with other marine scientific fields.

RESPONSIBLE ENTITY: 

Renewable Energy Group of the University of Exeter (UK) and the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice (Italy).

COSTS / FUNDING SOURCE: 

The study was not supported by any particular funding entity.

CONTACT PERSON: 

Daniel Depellegrin: d.d.depellegrin@exeter.ac.uk