A study published in PLOS Climate illuminates how fishers on the U.S. West Coast perceive their vulnerability to climate change and what factors contribute to differences in their views. Fishers were surveyed in Washington, Oregon, and California to investigate community demographics, observations of ocean change, and perceptions of wellbeing and vulnerability to these changes.
A majority of respondents reported observing some kind of change in their fisheries and environment, however the perceived role of climate change was variable. Many attributed these changes to many causes both environmental (warmer water and more frequent bad weather) and regulatory (decrease in hatchery production, shorter fishing seasons, or later openings). Most respondents were concerned with operational costs and regulations over climate change impacts.
The range of perceptions regarding climate change and vulnerability to its impacts is important for managers as they seek to create, communicate, and implement climate adaptation plans for fisheries in the area. Perceptions of adaptive capacity- here unrelated to a belief in climate change- may be a less polarizing way to discuss efforts in developing climate-resilient fisheries and fishing communities in the U.S.
Read the full paper here.
- Nelson, L.K., Cullen, A.C., Koehn, L.E., Harper, S., Runebaum, J., Bogeberg, M., Strawn, A., Levin, P.S. (2023) Understanding perceptions of climate vulnerability to inform more effective adaptation in coastal communities. PLOSClimate. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pclm.0000103