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Impacts of climate change for coastal fishers and implications for fisheries

Savo, Valentina, Morton, Cedar, Lepofsky, Dana
Fish and fisheries 2017 v.18 no.5 pp. 877-889
climate change, coasts, fisheries, livelihood, meta-analysis, natural resource management, people, sea level, temperature, villages, weather
Coastal Social–Ecological Systems (SESs) are subject to several stresses, including climate change, that challenge fisheries and natural resource management. Fishers are front‐line observers of changes occurring both on the coast and in the sea and are among the first people to be affected by these changes. In this study, we perform a meta‐analysis of observations and adaptations to climate change by subsistence‐oriented coastal fishers extracted from a global review of peer‐reviewed and grey literature. Fishers' observations compiled from across the globe indicate increased temperatures and changes in weather patterns, as well as coastal erosion, sea level rise and shifts in species range and behaviours. Coastal areas offer a wide array of resources for diversifying livelihoods, but climate change is reducing these options. Specifically, climate change could reduce the resilience of fishers' communities, limiting options for diversification or forcing fishers to abandon their houses or villages.