Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Caribbean Recreational Fisheries
A participatory assessment of recreational fisheries vulnerability to climate impacts
Recreational fishing is a pillar of the multibillion-dollar tourism sector in the Caribbean, supporting economic development and community livelihoods. However, as climate change drives rapid shifts in habitat suitability in the tropics, key recreational target species may be vulnerable to declines. There is a critical need to project climate change impacts on recreational species and the communities that depend on them, to prioritize adaptation and mitigation efforts that can build resilience.
This report describes the results of a comprehensive climate vulnerability assessment for recreationally important fish species in the Caribbean. The assessment focused on three “primary” recreational tidal flats targets in Belize and The Bahamas – bonefish, tarpon and permit – and a suite of twelve “secondary” recreational targets, representing pelagic and reef fishes that provide additional opportunities within the recreational sector. Species vulnerability was assessed by coupling a desktop review of climate change impacts and species biological traits with a participatory process to elicit the local expert knowledge of recreational fishing guides, resource managers and scientists.