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?
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org); Dr. Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (email@example.com).
If you haven’t yet signed up for the cluster and would like to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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