Nelson, Laura K., Molly Bogeberg, Alison Cullen, Laura E. Koehn, Astrea Strawn, & Phillip S. Levin (2022, January). Perspectives on managing fisheries for community wellbeing in the face of climate change. Maritime Studies. (ePub in advance of print) (Link:

Abstract: Coastal communities are being impacted by climate change, affecting the livelihoods, food security, and wellbeing of residents. Human wellbeing is influenced by the health of the environment through numerous pathways and is increasingly being included as a desired outcome in environmental management. However, the contributors to wellbeing can be subjective and the values and perspectives of decision-makers can affect the aspects of wellbeing that are included in planning. We used Q methodology to examine how a group of individuals in fisheries management prioritize components of wellbeing that may be important to coastal communities in the California Current social-ecological system (SES). The California Current SES is an integrated system of ecological and human communities with complex linkages and connections where commercial fishing is part of the culture and an important livelihood. We asked individuals that sit on advisory bodies to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council to rank 36 statements about coastal community wellbeing, ultimately revealing three discourses about how we can best support or improve wellbeing in those communities. We examine how the priorities differ between the discourses, identify areas of consensus, and discuss how these perspectives may influence decision-making when it comes to tradeoffs inherent in climate adaptation in fisheries. Lastly, we consider if and how thoughts about priorities have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laura K Nelson <> is in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (USA).

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