Climate change, small-scale fisheries and smallholder aquaculture

Fisheries and aquaculture both contribute to meeting the Millennium Development Goals but vulnerability to climate change threatens the contribution that they make to development. Impacts of climate change on small-scale fisheries are of great relevance to poverty reduction. Poverty undermines the resilience of social-ecological systems such as fisheries. The majority of the world’s 250 million fisherfolk lives in areas that are highly exposed to climate change. A combination of climate-related stresses and widespread overexploitation of fisheries reduces the scope for adaptation and increases risks of stock collapse. Aquaculture can utilize aquatic resources of marginal economic value and can provide a diversification strategy in the face of environmental change but is also susceptible to external risk factors, including climate change. This chapter examines the concepts of vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and resilience in relation to discussion on adaptation to climate change.


Allison, E.H., Beveridge, M.C.M., van Brakel, M. (2009)
p. 109-122. In: Wramner P., M. Cullberg and H. Ackefors (eds.) Fisheries, sustainability and development. Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Stockholm. [open access]