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Fisheries regulatory regimes and resilience to climate change.

  • Author(s): Ojea, Elena;
  • Pearlman, Isaac;
  • Gaines, Steven D;
  • Lester, Sarah E
  • et al.
Abstract

Climate change is already producing ecological, social, and economic impacts on fisheries, and these effects are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude in the future. Fisheries governance and regulations can alter socio-ecological resilience to climate change impacts via harvest control rules and incentives driving fisher behavior, yet there are no syntheses or conceptual frameworks for examining how institutions and their regulatory approaches can alter fisheries resilience to climate change. We identify nine key climate resilience criteria for fisheries socio-ecological systems (SES), defining resilience as the ability of the coupled system of interacting social and ecological components (i.e., the SES) to absorb change while avoiding transformation into a different undesirable state. We then evaluate the capacity of four fisheries regulatory systems that vary in their degree of property rights, including open access, limited entry, and two types of rights-based management, to increase or inhibit resilience. Our exploratory assessment of evidence in the literature suggests that these regulatory regimes vary widely in their ability to promote resilient fisheries, with rights-based approaches appearing to offer more resilience benefits in many cases, but detailed characteristics of the regulatory instruments are fundamental.

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