In the April 30, 2021 edition of the V2V Webinars Dr. Silvia Salas of CIVESTAV in Mérida, Mexico talked about the principles extracted from empirical research to facilitate the transition of small-scale fisheries from vulnerability to viability. Silvia recalled some of the basic principles we need to keep in mind for a better understanding of their current challenges and how to address them adequately. An awareness of the inherent uncertainties helps critical interrogation and risk-minimising strategies.

While focusing on lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean representing a great variety of situations and dynamics, her reflections are food for thought also in other regions of the globe. She insisted rightly on how climate change and other human-made stressors were already creating tangible effects in natural environments, such as more frequent and more violent hurricanes in the tropical belt. These in turn already impact small-scale fisheries communities in many different ways. She noted a general lack of preparedness for desasters which usually affect already vulnerable groups overproportionately as they don't have the knowledge, financial, social and other resources to respond or - better - to anticipate.

She echoed a growing realisation that effects can also concatenate and provoke often unexpected secondary effects, such as well extreme rainfall leads to landslides washing away entire villages and provoking untold hardship. Without good infrastructure, rescue operations can be greatly impeded. Lack of preparedness is also visible even in rich countries as recently pointed out in a leading scientific journal, such as Nature.

Investment into preparedness for desasters or more generally of change is a key approach to enable the transition from vulnerability to viability. You can watch the entire webinar here.