Resilience-based steps for adaptive co-management of Arctic small-scale fisheries


Arctic small-scale fisheries are essential for the livelihoods, cultures, nutrition, economy, and food security of Indigenous communities. Their sustainable management in the rapidly changing Arctic is thus a key priority. Fisheries management in complex systems such as the Arctic would benefit from integrative approaches that explicitly seek to build resilience. Yet, resilience is rarely articulated as an explicit goal of Arctic fisheries management. Here, we first describe how marine and anadromous fisheries management throughout the North has used the notion of resilience through a literature review of 72 peer-reviewed articles. Second, we make a conceptual contribution in the form of steps to implement adaptive co-management that aim to foster resilience. Building on resilience-based insights from the literature review and foundational research on adaptive co-management and resilience, the steps we propose are to initiate and carry out (1) dialogue through a discussion forum, (2) place-based social-ecological participatory research, (3) resilience-building management actions, (4) collaborative monitoring, and (5) joint process evaluation. Additionally, we propose action items associated with the steps to put adaptive co-management into practice. Third, we assess two case studies, Cambridge Bay and Pangnirtung Arctic Char commercial fisheries, to explore how the five steps can help reinforce resilience through adaptive co-management. Overall, we propose novel guidelines for implementing adaptive co-management that actively seeks to build resilience within fishery social-ecological systems in times of rapid, uncertain, and complex environmental change.

Environmental Research Letters
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