CNH-L: The Dynamics of Adaptation to Climate-Driven Variability in California Current Fisheries And Fishing Communities

Project: Research project

Project Details


CNH-L: The Dynamics of Adaptation to Climate-Driven Variability in California Current Fisheries And Fishing Communities CNH-L: The Dynamics of Adaptation to Climate-Driven Variability in California Current Fisheries And Fishing Communities Project Summary The livelihoods of fishermen embedded in large marine ecosystems (LMEs) are heavily influenced by exposure to exogenous biological and oceanographic variability, as well as exposure to economic and management change. However, the movement of fishing effort across multiple fisheries in reaction to this variability may also play a fundamental role in shaping system dynamics and livelihoods. Despite ongoing research efforts, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the connections between climatic variability and ecological outcomes in LMEs. Furthermore, efforts to understand LMEs as coupled natural human systems whereby humans influence ecological variability even as they are subject to it have been limited. Managing fisheries in a way that enhances their overall social and economic value, mitigates risks to ecosystems and livelihoods, and facilitates sustainable adaptation requires this fundamental knowledge. We hypothesize that the dynamics of LMEs cannot be understood without considering how humans and natural components of the LME respond interactively to climate variation. To address this challenge, we propose to develop a coupled ecological-economic model of the dynamics of fisheries and fishing communities in the California Current LME (CCLME). We will quantitatively assess links between environmental and ecological variability and incorporate these relationships into population dynamic models of critical CCLME fish stocks. We will link these biological models to a socio-economic model of fishing effort. This model will emphasize the interdependency of fisheries through linkages in fishermens participation, while also considering the hypothesis that non-pecuniary social factors operating at the level of fishing communities may significantly influence participation patterns. The objectives of the project are: 1. To understand how environmental variability travels through, and is dampened or amplified by, linked social and ecological processes in fisheries systems on the U.S. West Coast. 2. To explore how more integrated management of fisheries can be used to increase resilience and human benefits derived from West Coast commercial fisheries and other CNH systems. 3. To engage disparate parts of the fishery management community in development and application of the research and modeling tools needed to implement ecosystem-based fishery management. Intellectual Merit: The research will make important cross-disciplinary and disciplinary contributions in economics, anthropology, ecology and biological oceanography including: (1) deepening understanding of how participation in fisheries influences well-being of fishermen and benefits fishing communities; (2) exploring how non-pecuniary social processes affect fishery participation; (3) creating new behavioral models for fisheries that account for both intra-fishery and inter-fishery dynamics; (4) quantifying how environmental variability, in conjunction with human responses, creates synchronous and asynchronous variation in fishery productivity; (5) creating models to explore feedbacks between social, economic, ecological and physical processes that jointly determine the dynamics and outcomes for LMEs. Broader Impacts: The project will develop a multi-fishery ecological-economic model that will be used with fishery managers and stakeholders to explore how the CCLME system responds to physical and economic shocks and evaluate how management approaches and interventions are likely to affect ecological and livelihood outcomes. This provides an important tool to operationalize ecosystem-based fishery management a stated national and regional policy priority. To facilitate buy-in, we will hold two workshops with industry stakeholders and fishery managers from state and federal agencies. The first, at the beginning of the project, will ensure that the research is relevant to stakeholder needs. The second, early in the final year of the project, will provide feedback on whether the integrated model results are plausible and useful and will guide any adaptations to the model or policy/environmental change scenarios. The project will also provide strong cross-disciplinary training opportunities for 3 post-docs and 3 graduate students. Specifically it provides cross-disciplinary training between economics and other social sciences, cross-disciplinary training in oceanography, ecology and fishery science, and focused training in integrated modeling of CNH systems.
Effective start/end date8/1/169/30/22


  • NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $1,499,962.00


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