Indigenous Fisheries


Coastal indigenous fishing communities have close economic, social and cultural linkages with marine ecosystems that are vital for maintaining their food security and cultural heritage. Like other small-scale fisheries, they are vulnerable to global changes, including those related to climate. Little is known, however, about the impacts and influence of climate change on indigenous fishing communities. This represents a significant global issue, as indigenous groups are often the most vulnerable coastal communities. This research cluster aims to help fill this knowledge gap by providing a global overview of coastal indigenous groups and their respective concerns regarding climate change.

For information on participation, see the “How to contribute” section below. 


The cluster will address two overarching research questions:

1) What is the contribution of marine resources to the food security of coastal indigenous fishing?

2) What are the expected ecological impacts of climate change on these fisheries?

Research questions

1) What are the yearly marine fish requirements of indigenous groups, in terms of meeting food security, employment needs, and cultural survival?

2) How vulnerable are coastal indigenous groups to current and future global changes?

3) How will coastal indigenous groups and their access to fish be impacted by climate change?

4) What specific policies could mitigate or help adapt to potential negative impacts of global change on coastal indigenous groups?


July 2015: Manuscript detailing compilation and results of coastal indigenous group fish requirements database ready for submission.

December 2015: Manuscript estimating impacts of fish distribution changes on coastal indigenous groups ready for submission.

May 2016: Working paper on policies to mitigate global change impacts on coastal indigenous groups ready for discussion and review.

In addition to these key deliverables, we envision a number of smaller publications, reports, and/or workshops focused on particular aspects and/or global regions related to the overarching research plan.

Timeline / Work plan

This research initiative will operate in three phases:

The first phase involves completing the compilation and refinement of a global database of coastal indigenous groups (which will contribute to the Information System on Small-Scale Fisheries), ultimately providing a baseline estimate of the food security and economic needs of indigenous peoples worldwide. One key focus of this phase, which will be maintained throughout the project, will be to keep the focus on the qualitative results and implications of the estimates, rather than on the numbers in and of themselves.

The second phase will take the previous baseline estimate and draw on Dr. William Cheung’s work on climate change to project future scenarios in terms of changing fish populations. Essentially, we will overlay and link our maps of indigenous fisheries with expected global changes in fish distribution and abundance, and thus estimate the impacts of climate change on indigenous fisheries in particular. One key goal is to highlight the unique nature of indigenous groups, which make them particularly vulnerable to the overarching challenges faced by fishers worldwide.

The third phase goes one step further and offers a set of policies, grounded in existing and potential future regulatory frameworks, to mitigate the impacts highlighted in the previous two phases. For this phase in particular, we are contemplating a close collaboration with Dr. Richard Caddell of Utrecht University to explore the legal and policy challenges and opportunities ahead. These will be contextualized in both broad global and local terms, benefiting from collaborations with other network members.

Through these three phases, the project will develop a global network of researchers working with indigenous fisheries and collect “fishing culture” information available for each group. This will essentially be a compilation of extracted information from ethnographic studies written on those coastal groups regarding their fishing, fish trade and fish consumption.

One of the goals of this cluster is to establish enduring research networks to benefit both indigenous and non-indigenous fisheries’ food security and global change issues. We welcome input from researchers in related fields, leads on information from both published and anecdotal sources, and any suggestions on how to improve both the foundation and outcomes of this research cluster. We want to hear from you! Dr. Yoshitaka Ota (; Dr. Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (

If you haven’t yet signed up for the cluster and would like to get involved, contact us at

Cluster coordinators

Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Yoshitaka Ota, The University of British Columbia, Canada

William Cheung, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Miguel Gonzalez, York University, Canada

Cluster members
Name Affiliation Country
A., Jose Plymouth Marine Laboratory UK
A. Alencastro, Liliana ESPOL USA
Abdul, Waidi Federal University of Agriculture Nigeria
Abura, Samson Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization Uganda
Acciaioli, Gregory The University of Western Australia Australia
Adekoya, Ezekiel Oriyomi Federal University of Agriculture Nigeria
Advani, Sahir University of British Columbia India
Akbarsyah, Nora Brawijaya University Indonesia
Alam, Md Mahbub Marine Fisheries Academy, Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock Bangladesh
Allen, Maggie University of Washington USA
Alp-Ercelan, Aly Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Pakistan
Anatole, Danto CNRS / ApoliMer / UMR LEMAR / UMR ARENES France
Anton, Paula FAO Egypt
Assem, Sylvia Mamle University of Ghana Ghana
Baker, Iggy Memorial University of Newfoundland Canada
Balaraman, Subramanian Our Sea Our People India
Barter, Lachlan University Center for the Westfjords Iceland
Bassett, Hannah Univesity of Washington USA
Bavington, Dean Memorial University Canada
Beitl, Christine University of Maine USA
Bennett, Nathan The University of British Columbia Canada
Bodwitch, Hekia UC Berkeley USA
Bockstael, Erika Natural Resources Institute Canada
Bonsu, Prince Owusu Erasmus Mundus Course on Maritime Spatial Planning Portugal
Boudreau, Paul The International Ocean Institute Canada
Breckwoldt, Annette Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) Bremen
Brehmer, Patrice IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) France
Brito-Millan, Marlene Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD USA
Cakacaka, Akuila Institute of Tropical Marine Research Germany
Campbell, Brooke University of Wollongong Australia
Chong, Carolina University of Bremen Germany
Cohen, Philippa WorldFish Australia
Colonese, Andre Carlo University of York UK
Coswig Kalikoski, Daniela FAO Italy
Creaghan, Phoebe Dalhousie University Canada
Crowder, Larry Center for Ocean Solutions USA
De Freitas, Debora Biosciences Institute São Paulo State University-UNESP, Coastal Campus Brazil
Delisle, Aurelie Australian National Centre for Ocean resources & Security Australia
Dutka-Gianelli, Jynessa University of Florida Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences USA
Ekpe, Sonigitu Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Nigeria
Elegbede, Isa Brandenburg University of Technology Germany
Fakoya, Kafayat Lagos State University Nigeria
Ferguson, Caroline Stanford University, E-IPER USA
Fofandi, Kamlesh Volunteer India
Franz, Nicole FAO Italy
Friedman, Kim FAO Italy
Garcia-Quijano, Carlos University of Rhode Island USA
Gephart, Jessica SESYNC USA
Gervereau, Kimberley Big Blue Network Philippines
Ginindza, Joseph University of the Western Cape South Africa
Gough, Charlotte Blue Ventures Madagascar
Hall, Pam Memorial University of Newfoundland Canada
Haro, María Isabel The University of Queensland Australia
Hart, Paul University of Leicester UK
Herrera, Yann University of British Columbia Canada
Hisham, Jafer Department of Fisheries India
Hudson, Joanna Blue Ventures UK
Jadhav, Adam Dakshin Foundation India
James, Mark University of St Andrews UK
Jani Mohd, Jarina University Malaysia Terengganu Malaysia
Jatoi, Qamer Uddin University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa Pakistan
Jouanneau,Charlène Charlène Jouanneau Consultant France
Kalak, Line Sami University of Applied Sciences Norway
Kamrani, Ehsan University of Hormozgan Iran
Kappo, Ayorinde NASRDA Nigeria
Kehinde, Adekeye Fisheries Society of Nigeria Nigeria
Kotowicz, Dawn University of Rhode Island USA
Kumar, Subodh Central University of Gujarat India
Lalancette, Annie Concordia University Canada
Lam, Mimi University of British Columbia Canada
Lamb, Norlan Conch - Conserving our natural cultural history Belize
Lau, Jacqueline ARC Centre for Excellece in Coral Reef Studies Australia
Lavoie, Anna Colorado State University USA
Lawson, Elaine Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana, Legon Ghana
Lazar, Najih University of Rhode Island USA
Loneragan, Neil Murdoch University Australia
Loring, Philip University of Saskatchewan Canada
Loury, Erin FISHBIO Laos
Maharaj, Ben Institute of Marine Affairs Trinidad and Tobago
Marjadi, Meghna The Ohio State University USA
Marquez Perez, Ana Isabel Providence Sea & Land Initiative Foundation Colombia
Mascarenas, Ismael Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservacion A.C. Mexico
Matola, Hakimu Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute Tanzania
Maxwell, Kimberley Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand
McClean, Nick University of Technology Sydney Australia
McClenachan, Loren Colby College USA
McGreavy, Bridie University of Maine USA
Miller, Karly Marie University of California USA
Miller, Mairi Memorial University Canada
Milko, Haley Simon Fraser University Canada
Mozumder, Mohammad PhD student Finland
Mvula, Stanley Department of Fisheries Malawi
Naranjo, Helven Fisheries Consultant Costa Rica
Nunkoo, Ravi Interdisciplinary Marine Conservation Researcher Mauritius
Nuno, Ana University of Exeter UK
Oseni, Ismaila Lagos State University Nigeria
Oyanedel, Rodrigo Universidad Catolica de Chile / University of California Chile
Palmer, Roy Aquaculture without Frontiers Australia
Parker, Kashiefa International Ocean Institute South Africa
Paulraj, Jawahar Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Fisheries University India
Polite, Dysi Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Indonesia
Pictou, Sherry Dalhousie University Canada
Quimby, Barbara San Diego State University USA
Ragusa, Gianluca International Independent consultant - Fisheries and aquaculture specialist Italy
Raju, Surapa Council for Social Development India
Rakotondrazafy Andriamampandry, Riambosoa United Nations - Nippon Foundation fellowship Madagascar
Ramenzoni, Victoria Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University USA
Ramirez-Luna, Viviana Dillon Consulting Limited Canada
Ramos Miranda, Julia Instituto EPOMEX/UAC Mexico
Rathnasuriya, Ishara National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency Sri Lanka
Revold, Jens UiT-Arctic University of Norway Norway
Richard, Natalie Alaska Pacific University USA
Rohe, Janne Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) Germany
Romero, Ronnie National Fisheries Research and Development Institute Philippines
Rouhani, Qurban Rhodes University South Africa
Said, Alicia PhD Student, University of Kent UK
Saine, Dawda Foday National Sole Fishery Co- management Committee Gambia
Sall, Aliou Centre de recherches océanographiques de Dakar Thiaroye (CRODT), Senegal
Schmidt, Jörn Kiel University Germany
Schneider, Katharina Heidelberg University Germany
Schnierer, Stephan Southern Cross University Australia
Simmance, Alison University of Southampton UK
Simmance, Fiona University of Southampton UK
Siriwardane-de Zoysa, Rapti Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) Germany
Snape, Robin University of Exeter Cyprus
Stacey, Natasha Charles Darwin University Australia
Steenbergen, Dirk Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security Australia
Taiwo, Ganzallo Sylvester Lagos State University Nigeria
Thigale, Durga UNDP and Mangrove Cell, Maharashtra India
Thomassin, Annick McGill University and Australian National University Australia
Torre, Jorge Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C. (COBI) Mexico
Tubino, Rafael Universidade Federal Fluminense Brazil
Tupper, Mark Coastal Resources Association Philippines
Turner, Rachel University of Exeter UK
Ulfsdatter Søreng, Siri Norut Research Institute Norway
Urteaga, Jose E-IPER / Stanford University Nicaragua
Valenzuela, Flordeliza Central bicol state university of agriculture Philippines
White, Carole University of East Anglia and Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) UK
Wise, Sarah AFSC, NOAA USA
Witter, Allison UBC Fisheries Centre UK
Yingst, Alexandra University Centre of the Westfjords Iceland
Young, Samantha San Diego Zoo Global USA
Zhao, Lily University of Washington USA