Vulnerability of coastal communities to key impacts of climate change on coral reef fisheries

Cinner, J.E., McClanahan, T.R., Graham, N.A.J., Daw, T.M., Maina, J., Stead, S.M., Wamukota, A., Brown, K., and Bodin, Ö. (2012) Vulnerability of coastal communities to key impacts of climate change on coral reef fisheries. Global Environmental Change, 22 (1). pp. 12-20.

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Abstract

Coral reefs support the livelihood of millions of people especially those engaged in marine fisheries activities. Coral reefs are highly vulnerable to climate change induced stresses that have led to substantial coral mortality over large spatial scales. Such climate change impacts have the potential to lead to declines in marine fish production and compromise the livelihoods of fisheries dependent communities. Yet few studies have examined social vulnerability in the context of changes specific to coral reef ecosystems. In this paper, we examine three dimensions of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity) of 29 coastal communities across five western Indian Ocean countries to the impacts of coral bleaching on fishery returns. A key contribution is the development of a novel, network-based approach to examining sensitivity to changes in the fishery that incorporates linkages between fishery and non-fishery occupations. We find that key sources of vulnerability differ considerably within and between the five countries. Our approach allows the visualization of how these dimensions of vulnerability differ from site to site, providing important insights into the types of nuanced policy interventions that may help to reduce vulnerability at a specific location. To complement this, we develop framework of policy actions thought to reduce different aspects of vulnerability at varying spatial and temporal scales. Although our results are specific to reef fisheries impacts from coral bleaching, this approach provides a framework for other types of threats and different social-ecological systems more broadly.

Item ID: 20306
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 06:20
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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