Climate adaptation pathways and the role of social-ecological networks in small-scale fisheries

Salgueiro-Otero, Diego, Barnes, Michele L., and Ojea, Elena (2022) Climate adaptation pathways and the role of social-ecological networks in small-scale fisheries. Scientific Reports, 12. 15526.

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Climate change is expected to have increasing impacts on marine ecosystems which will threaten the livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people. Drawing on social-ecological network and sociodemographic data collected via face-to-face interviews with 404 small-scale commercial fishers from 9 Galician communities (Spain), we empirically examine the adaptation pathways that fishers follow when they face hypothetical impacts on their fishery resources and test the role of five social-ecological network structures on fisher's stated intended responses to such scenarios. Our results show that fishers generally intend to follow a 'remain-adapt-transform-exit (the fishery)' pathway when faced with increasing climate impacts. Next, we demonstrate that trust-based bonding ties and ties to informal leaders are associated with a 'business-as-usual' strategy. In contrast, communicative bonding ties are associated with adaptive responses, while communicative bridging ties are associated with transformative and exit strategies. Our findings provide key empirical insight that broaden our understanding of the intricate relationship between social networks and adaptive behaviour relevant to social-ecological systems worldwide.

Item ID: 76234
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Keywords: climate change; fisheries; fishing communities; social networks; social capital; social-ecological network; adaptation; social-ecological system
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: DE190101583
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2022 08:28
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410103 Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation @ 60%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 10%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190199 Adaptation to climate change not elsewhere classified @ 60%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences @ 10%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 30%
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