Fishers’ experiences with climate change: an overview

SAVO, Valentina - Hakai Institute, Simon Fraser University
LEPOFSKY, Dana - Hakai Institute and Department of Archeology, Simon Fraser University

Fishers are front-line observers of climatic changes occurring both on the coast and in the sea and are among the first people to be affected by these changes. In order to analyze impacts and consequent adaptations of fishers to climate change, we synthesized data extracted from a global review of peer reviewed and grey literature. In total, we selected 261 studies covering 66 countries, representing approximately 380 communities. Fishers are observing changes in weather patterns, increase in temperatures and extreme events, but also coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and shifts in species range and behaviors. Fishers are also adjusting their lives to compensate for the effects of climate change, diversifying their livelihoods, protecting their coasts and using their knowledge of local environments. The lessons learned and practices adopted by fishers provide real-life examples of how to adapt in a changing climate.