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Brown University scientists to discuss resilience of coastal communities at AAAS
Date:2/17/2013

stal communities and the marine ecosystems on which they rely.

Sievanen, an environmental anthropologist at JIMAR (Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research) in Hawaii and a visiting researcher at Brown, will present results on the capacity of individual fishers and households to adapt to climate variability in the southwestern part of the Gulf, near the city of La Paz. Drawing from over 80 household surveys and interviews, she will discuss key social, institutional, and economic factors that currently affect the ability of fishermen to perceive and adapt to climate variability. The primary strategies that fishermen use to cope with variability are shifting fisheries activities and diversifying occupations. The preliminary findings suggest that local and national fisheries institutions may in some cases create barriers to these adaptation strategies.

For example, increasingly stringent requirements on where and for what species fishermen can fish are limiting individuals' ability to cope with seasonal shifts in species abundance and weather conditions. The findings also document substantial variation in coping strategies between urban and rural fishermen, with those living in more densely populated areas being better able to adapt to both weather and regulatory changes.

"The Gulf of California is an excellent case study," Leslie said. "Not only is it highly valued for its biodiversity on land and in the sea, it also is one of the regions of Mexico that is changing most rapidly, economically and demographically. By studying human-environment interactions in this region, we have opportunities to generate new knowledge of how people are connected to coastal marine ecosystems. Using that knowledge we can create models for such integrated research and policy translation in other coastal marine systems, including the Northeast."


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Contact: Kevin Stacey
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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