Monday 5
Marine regime shifts around the globe : theory, drivers, and impacts
Norström Albert
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› IFREMER Sète
Resilience and social thresholds in small-scale fishing communities
Jessica Blythe  1, 2@  
1 : ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies  (ARC CoE)  -  Website
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811 -  Australie
2 : WorldFish  (WorldFish)  -  Website
c/o James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811 -  Australie

Change has become a ubiquitous force in our interconnected world with immense implications for the sustainability of ecological-social systems. Therefore, understanding how much disturbance social-ecological systems will absorb, where thresholds lie and what systems might look like if a threshold is crossed are critical research questions. In this paper, we evaluate the resilience of two fishing communities on Mozambique's central coast through a series of semi-structured interviews and focus groups with small-scale fishers. Our analysis is guided by the Cumming et al. (2005) framework for the empirical measurement of resilience. Our data indicate that coastal communities are continuously absorbing multiple sources of disturbance without shifting into qualitatively different states. However, a 90% decline in catch rates would represent a threshold for both communities. In response to this threshold, the two research communities would respond differently and the past behaviour of a community is a strong predictor of their future behaviour. At Zalala Beach, where the majority of fishers are migrants, fishers would respond to this threshold by moving to another location where fishing was still possible. In Inhangome, where the majority of fishers have lived for generations, fishers would respond to this threshold by changing their professions yet remaining in their community. These results contribute to our efforts to operationalize resilience theory by using socially defined thresholds to explore potential future states of coastal fishing communities.


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