Improve fairness and equity
Pathway for climate-resilient fisheries
Improve fairness and equity of policy decisions
When we look at impacts of climate change on fisheries through an equity and fairness lens, society can develop higher-leverage, more impactful and more sustainable solutions. By building fisheries management in a way that promotes fairness and equity, the world can foster social resilience, which in turn will help support the transformative change necessary to create thriving fisheries and fishing communities in the future.
Supporting Case Study
The inequities potentially created by changing fishery opportunities resulting from climate change and the social problems created by actual or perceived unfairness are illustrated by the recent civil unrest in Chile over the sharing of the Humboldt squid resource (a fishery resource that has been changing its geographic range). In response to policy decisions regarded as unfair, some segments of the fishing industry engaged in civil unrest that caused disruptions in some of Chile’s largest cities. Policymakers have since addressed this problem successfully by reversing their earlier decision, but it remains a clear example of how fairness and equity considerations in one segment of the ocean economy can impact society broadly.
Learn more here: Climate-resilient fisheries require fairness and equity
Important dimensions of equity in fisheriesExpand All
In building climate-resilient fisheries, it will be important to have a full understanding of the potential benefits and risks associated with taking particular actions, as well as a clear picture of all affected parties and their unique goals, socio-political contexts, and relationships with other groups. Doing so will help to ensure that solutions are designed to minimize losses for those who will be adversely affected and to identify opportunities for reparations by parties who stand to benefit, sometimes disproportionately from climate change. For example, the developing tropical regions are likely to see grave losses to their fisheries, while countries in the developed world, who are responsible for more climate damages stand to gain.
To be equitable, decisions made regarding both the interpretation of climate-impact information and the best course of action to respond must be transparent, inclusive and human-centered. Many tools, resources and approaches exist to help facilitate participatory fishery management decision-making, and these same tools can be valuable as we work toward climate resilience.
Different group identities (e.g., race, gender, class, age, etc.) can be associated with different levels of marginalization and vulnerability and with differential abilities to participate in decision-making and to adapt to change. We need to understand how each impacted group perceives climate impacts, build capacity for the empowerment of marginalized groups and increase their agency and foster discussions where individuals and groups can work together, support one another and learn from each other through knowledge co-production.