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Title: Projections and perceptions : using an interdisciplinary approach to explore climate change impacts on south-west UK fisheries
Author: Maltby, Katherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 7349
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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Climate change is one of the greatest threats to marine environments globally. Fisheries are being increasingly affected, with impacts not only to fish stocks but also the fishers who rely on marine resources for their livelihoods. This thesis uses an interdisciplinary, mixed methods approach to examine climate change impacts on fisheries within the under-studied, yet rapidly warming, south-west region of the UK. The thesis begins with a comprehensive review of the literature regarding climate change impacts on UK fisheries, the vulnerability of these fishery systems to future climate change and how climate change is perceived among fishers. In Chapter 2 a methodology is developed to standardise abundance data across multiple scientific fisheries survey datasets in order to facilitate future projections to be generated for the south-west UK region. Chapter 3 presents future projections of abundances and distributions for eight key commercial fish species under future warming scenarios until the end of the century. Results suggest that increasing temperatures and limitations of bathymetry are key drivers of species responses. Certain cold-water species including Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) and anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius L.) will experience declines, while warm-water species such as red mullet (Mullus surmuletus L.) and John dory (Zeus faber L.) are expected to expand across the region. The uncertainty associated with future projections is explored through the use of 11 separate climate-ensembles. Chapter 4 uses information gained through interviews with fishers from a UK fishing port—Brixham—to explore how climate change is perceived and the factors influencing these perceptions. Findings suggest that while fishers generally felt that climate change posed a low risk to the future of their businesses and fisheries in the region, three groups emerged that showed differences in the extent to which they perceived climate change as a risk. A number of key factors were important in influencing these three groups. Chapter 5 develops further insight into fishers’ perceptions by exploring how fishers anticipate climate change to affect the physical environment, fishery resources, and their own practices in the future. Many fishers felt they would not need to alter their fishing practices in the future, with various reasons cited including personal preferences and perceived constraints to their adaptation. Fishers’ ability to adapt was further explored and three main groups were identified who differed according to a number of core dimensions of their adaptive capacity. Through adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the research in this thesis presents a number of new findings that have important implications for fisheries management and climate adaptation policies.
Supervisor: Simpson, Steve ; Turner, Rachel ; Genner, Martin ; Tinker, Jonathan ; Jennings, Simon Sponsor: Cefas ; NERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: fisheries ; climate change ; brixham ; marine ; global change