Responding to change: using scenarios to understand how socioeconomic factors may influence amplifying or dampening exploitation feedbacks among Tanzanian fishers

Cinner, Joshua E., Folke, Carl, Daw, Tim, and Hicks, Christina C. (2011) Responding to change: using scenarios to understand how socioeconomic factors may influence amplifying or dampening exploitation feedbacks among Tanzanian fishers. Global Environmental Change, 21 (1). pp. 7-12.

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Abstract

Environmental change often requires societies to adapt. In some instances, these adaptations can create feedbacks that amplify the change. Alternatively, other adaptations may dampen the change. We used semi-structured interviews with 240 fishers from nine Tanzanian coastal communities to explore responses to four hypothetical scenarios of increasingly severe declines in their average catch (10%, 20%, 30% and 50%). Overall, a higher proportion of fishers said they would respond to decline using amplifying adaptations (such as fishing harder) than dampening adaptations (such as reducing effort), particularly in the scenarios with lower levels of decline. We used a redundancy analysis to explore whether certain types of responses were related to the fishers’ socioeconomic characteristics. Fishers that would employ amplifying responses had greater economic wealth but lacked options. Fishers who would adopt dampening responses possessed characteristics associated with having livelihood options. Fishers who would adopt neither amplifying nor dampening responses were less likely to belong to community groups and sold the largest proportion of their catch. This study provides novel contributions by differentiating aspects of adaptive capacity that will amplify versus dampen environmental change and by highlighting what the resource users’ themselves say regarding responding to environmental change. Although direct policy application is limited by the study's hypothetical scenario nature, it provides a good beginning to incorporating resource users' voices into such policy discussions.

Item ID: 15854
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptation; adaptive capacity; coral reef; fishery; social resilience; social-ecological system; vulnerability
ISSN: 1872-9495
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011 02:46
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1499 Other Economics > 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 30%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 60%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 19
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