Social indicators of vulnerability for fishing communities in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico: Implications for climate change
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AbstractMarine fisheries support the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. These fisheries and the communities that depend on them are highly vulnerable to climate change and other interacting anthropogenic threats. The cumulative and interacting effects of these stressors could potentially produce declines in fish production, which would significantly impact artisanal fishers. Assessing relative vulnerability of fishing communities to anthropogenic stressors is an important first step to identifying mitigation or adaptation strategies. This study assessed the vulnerability of 12 coastal communities in the Northern Gulf of California to disruptions in fishing activities from anthropogenic stressors, including climate change. The Northern Gulf is a megadiverse area and a major source of fishery resources. Quantitative indicator indices based on secondary and primary data were developed to assess the three aspects of vulnerability: sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity. The key components of vulnerability varied amongst communities. Vulnerability was higher in communities with higher fishing dependence and lower socioeconomic diversification. The approach presented here provides important insights into the type of policy actions that might be needed in different communities for adaptation and mitigation.
Vulnerability analysis; Gulf of California; Fisheries; Climate change; Social-ecological systems;