Social connectivity and adaptive capacity strategies in large-scale fisheries


Large-scale fisheries are important social-ecological systems that are increasingly being threatened by global climate change. Adaptive capacity is key for moving fisheries onto climate resilient pathways, however, implementing policies to improve adaptive capacity is challenging given the many diverse stakeholders involved in fisheries. Previous research suggests social networks are integral to adaptive capacity because social connectivity can enable, or constrain, knowledge and information sharing. We examine the network of communication among stakeholders in the Basque tropical tuna freezer purse seine fishery in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. We use cluster analysis, descriptive statistics, and exponential random graph models to assess whether different types of actors, occupying different network positions, value similar adaptive capacity strategies. The results indicate that many actor types are frequently connected within the fishery. Preferences for adaptive capacity strategies vary within and across actor types, and the preferences of highly central actors are generally more homogeneous and narrowly focused. All actors agree on the importance of the social organization domain from adaptive capacity, while fishing industry representatives tend to have the most holistic perspective on adaptive capacity overall. We discuss the implications of these findings as they relate to policies for supporting adaptive capacity and climate resilient fisheries.


Publication info: Rubio, I., Hileman, J. & Ojea, E. 2021. Social connectivity and adaptive capacity strategies in large-scale fisheries. Ecology and Society 26(2), 42.