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U.S. West Coast fishing communities and climate vulnerability in an ecosystem-based management context Public Deposited

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  • As changes in climate and corresponding ocean shifts threaten U.S. fisheries with uncertain change, West Coast marine scientists and fishery management institutions have newly emphasized ecosystem-based analysis and management. The development of the West Coast-specific California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (CCIEA) has accordingly allowed for economic analyses and the social science on human communities to be included in this holistic endeavor, generating enhanced collaborations between applied socioeconomic and biophysical scientists. These collaborations are beneficial, but challenges emerge within aspects of the integrated approach to ecosystem-based management including, for example, a natural science emphasis on frequent monitoring of ecosystem indicators. Alongside temporal limitations on available socioeconomic data and other data constraints that sometimes preclude frequent monitoring, distinct social science methodologies require new thinking on collaborations and socio-ecological ecosystem modeling efforts. One potentially productive avenue for collaboration involves the linkage of climate vulnerability evaluations for marine species with evaluations of both community socioeconomic vulnerability and community involvement in fishing. Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) social scientists have developed indices of community socioeconomic vulnerability and general community-level engagement with and dependence on commercial and recreational fishing. These fishing indices are additionally modified to enable those involved in integrated ecosystem assessments to consider species and fishery-specific dependence indices by community, pairing these measures with climate vulnerability assessments for associated fish species. Such linkages allow for integrated metrics of climate-oriented exposure and vulnerability for a range of people, places and marine species, and the work presented here demonstrates the results and utility of this approach.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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