|Abstract or Summary
- Worldwide there is a recognition that fishing communities face challenges in changing environments, changing markets, and under different types of stressors. In this context, it is important to identify the causal factors of vulnerability and to understand how people deal with them, in order to find ways to reduce the impact of future threats and to develop adaptive capacities for the impacted communities. We present two case studies in Yucatan Mexico, to illustrate how changes in resource abundance, market demand, and policy interventions, can influence fisher's strategies and their capacity to adapt to such changes. Information from interviews and log- books allowed to identify cooperation processes in a fishing community, however, competition came into place in that community when a new commercial sea cucumber fishery created a ‘gold rush' situation, bringing conflict in what seemed a cohesive coastal community. We also evaluated risk on the health and safety of the fishers that target sea cucumber and lobster based on diving, they tend to disregard potential risk when resource abundance decreases or when market demand increases. The analyzed cases show the complexity of marine resource governance in Yucatan, like in other regions, which demand to understand and identify the factors underlying people's behavior and the decisions they make, especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty. We point out that, in order to reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptive capacity of coastal communities, it is necessary to promote cooperation, which in turn can facilitate fisheries governance.