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Adaptation of coastal fisheries to climate change in the climate change hotspot Shikoku, Japan

Xochitl Elías is conducting her fieldwork for her case study in Shikoku

17/02/2023 -

Japanese coasts are warming up at a faster rate than 90 % of coasts worldwide, making them a climate change hotspot. As a result, for example, the kelp forests at the western coast of Shikoku are experiencing a widespread decline due to a combination of warming waters and the resulting expansion of tropical herbivorous fish and reef-building corals, brought northwards by the Kuroshio current, which are gradually replacing the kelps.

For this reason, Xochitl Elías, a Ph.D. student at Future Oceans Lab (FOL), traveled last January, to start the third chapter of her thesis. For the next two months, she will investigate the adaptations of coastal fishers in the Ehime and Kochi prefectures to current climate-driven changes. Within this context, she also aims at understanding how the different adaptive capacity domains drive different types of adaptations.

The study is being conducted with the supervision of Elena Ojea from FOL and Jorge García Molinos from Hokkaido University and in cooperation with Naoki Kumagai from the Center for Climate Change Adaptation from the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies. The fieldwork would not be possible without the indispensable help of two local collaborators: Kameyuki Seike and Kazuki Seike.

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