Spatial diversification as a mechanism to adapt to environmental changes in small-scale fisheries
Small-scale fisheries’ actors increasingly face new challenges, including climate driven shifts in marine resource distribution and productivity. Diversification of target species and fishing locations is a key mechanism to adapt to such changes and maintain fisheries livelihoods. Here we explore environmental and institutional factors mediating how patterns of spatial diversification (i.e., utilization of alternative fishing grounds) and target species diversification change over time. Using small-scale fisheries in Baja California Sur (Mexico) as a case study, we adopt a social-ecological network approach to conduct a spatially explicit analysis of fisheries landings data (2008–2016).
This approach quantifies relative patterns of diversification, and when combined with a qualitative analysis of existing literature, enables us to illuminate institutional and environmental factors that may influence diversification strategies.
Our results indicate that interannual changes in spatial diversification are correlated with regional oceanographic change, while illustrating the heterogeneity and dynamism of diversification strategies. Rather than acting in isolation, we hypothesize that environmental drivers likely operate in combination with existing fisheries regulations and local socioeconomic context to mediate spatial diversification.
We argue that small-scale fisheries policies need to better account such linkages as we move towards an increasingly variable environment. Overall, our results highlight spatial diversification as a dynamic process and constitute an important step towards understanding and managing the complex mechanisms through which environmental changes affect small-scale fisheries.
Research news | 2022-11-25
Successes and shortfalls: reflections on COP27
In the wake of COP27, we gather reflections from centre staff who were involved on the ground.
Research news | 2022-11-25
Access to greenery and water goes hand in hand with human wellbeing during the pandemic
Green wedges and large nature areas are especially important for the young, elderly and unemployed, a new comparative study finds.
Research news | 2022-11-22
Fair access to water is a subjective issue in post-drought Cape Town
Who should pay for and benefit from water services? It depends on who you ask, finds a study that revisited Cape Town after its 2015-2018 water crisis
General news | 2022-11-15
Centre researchers listed among the world's most influential scientists
Carl Folke, Johan Rockström, Thomas Elmqvist, Per Olsson, Max Troell and Jonathan Donges ranked as some of the globally most cited researchers
Research news | 2022-11-14
In data scarce regions, fieldwork and historical images help researchers fill in the gaps
Researchers combined current data with historical images and inputs from previous studies to estimate how ecosystem services have changed over time in northern Burkina Faso
Research news | 2022-11-10
Fair global redistribution of resources is key for planetary stability
Redistributing resources and transforming society are necessary to ensure universal access to basic needs while staying within Earth’s limits