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Attributes of climate resilience in fisheries: from theory to practice

Mason, JG, Eurich, JG, Lau, JD, Battista, W, Free, CM, Mills, KE, Tokunaga, K, Zhao, LZ, Dickey-Collas, M, Valle, M, Pecl, GT ORCID: 0000-0003-0192-4339, Cinner, JE, McClanahan, TR, Allison, EH, Friedman, WR, Silva, C, Yanez, E, Barbieri, MA and Kleisner, KM 2022 , 'Attributes of climate resilience in fisheries: from theory to practice' , Fish and Fisheries, vol. 23, no. 3 , pp. 522-544 , doi:

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In a changing climate, there is an imperative to build coupled social-ecological systems—including fisheries—that can withstand or adapt to climate stressors. Although resilience theory identifies system attributes that supposedly confer resilience, these attributes have rarely been clearly defined, mechanistically explained, nor tested and applied to inform fisheries governance. Here, we develop and apply a comprehensive resilience framework to examine fishery systems across (a) ecological, (b) socio-economic and (c) governance dimensions using five resilience domains: assets, flexibility, organization, learning and agency. We distil and define 38 attributes that confer climate resilience from a coupled literature- and expert-driven approach, describe how they apply to fisheries and provide illustrative examples of resilience attributes in action. Our synthesis highlights that the directionality and mechanism of these attributes depend on the specific context, capacities, and scale of the focal fishery system and associated stressors, and we find evidence of interdependencies among attributes. Overall, however, we find few studies that test resilience attributes in fisheries across all parts of the system, with most examples focussing on the ecological dimension. As such, meaningful quantification of the attributes’ contributions to resilience remains a challenge. Our synthesis and holistic framework represent a starting point for critical application of resilience concepts to fisheries social-ecological systems.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mason, JG and Eurich, JG and Lau, JD and Battista, W and Free, CM and Mills, KE and Tokunaga, K and Zhao, LZ and Dickey-Collas, M and Valle, M and Pecl, GT and Cinner, JE and McClanahan, TR and Allison, EH and Friedman, WR and Silva, C and Yanez, E and Barbieri, MA and Kleisner, KM
Keywords: adaptive capacity, coastal communities, fisheries management, global change, social-ecological systems, synthesis science
Journal or Publication Title: Fish and Fisheries
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 1467-2960
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2021 The Authors.This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License

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