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What makes a fisher diversify livelihoods under climate change?

Researchers of Future Oceans Lab identify a set of fisher’s adaptive capacity determinants that influence climate change transformation

30/09/2022 -

In the coming years, climate change is expected to increase the degree and frequency of impacts on marine systems and related human communities. In many cases, adaptation is not enough and transformative actions are going to be needed. At individual level, transformative behavior can be understood as livelihood diversification, and the effect of this practice in adaptation is still scarce in the scientific literature. With this focus, the study led by Diego Salgueiro Otero and co-authored by Michele Barnes and Elena Ojea seeks to understand how individual adaptive capacity influence transformative behavior under climate change impacts.

In this investigation published in Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers conduct surveys in the Galician small-scale fisheries system in order to clarify the pattern of livelihood diversification strategy under incremental impact and also identify key determinants that trigger fisher’s livelihood diversification.

The first main finding of this study is that livelihood diversifications increases under decreasing income (vs. increasing income) scenarios.

Also, as results from the multinomial multilevel logit mixed effect model demonstrate the crucial role of flexibility, learning, competing concerns and organization adaptive capacity domains in individual livelihood diversification. For example, linking trust ties, social-ecological system knowledge and dependence on multiple marine resources enables livelihood diversification, however, bonding communication, inequality perception and fishing experience constrains such practice.

The insights derived from this work are essential to adequately inform policy makers when transformation is discussed, designed and legislated. In addition, the identification of synergies and trade-offs of adaptation-transformation responses across scales would highly benefit sustainable social-ecological systems under climate change.

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CATEGORIES: Clock, Diego Salgueiro, Elena Ojea, Future Oceans Lab, Research, Results