There are several aspects of transitioning from vulnerability to viability. The primary approach consists of identifying vulnerabilities and trying to reduce them to attenuate the effects. But what happens if small-scale fisheries are confronted with unexpected threats and shocks? These can take many different forms. They can consist of changes in the market or fisheries regulations. Climate change is affecting the distribution of resources away from tropical waters. The Blue Economy mantra usually has no place for small-scale fisheries.

Yet, men and women in small-scale fisheries face these mostly unpredictable shocks all the time. This is why we need to consider resilience, which is about options, flexibility, and the capacity to deal with unpredictable shocks.The V2V monthly webinar end April 2022 with Dr. Fisket Berkes covers resilience basics and illustrates the resilience of small-scale fishers through several examples.

Dr Berkes was speaking from Winnipeg in central Canada and started out by drawing attention not only to the commonly known vulnerabilities of small-scale fisheries, such as difficult access to the resource and to markets, but also new ones in the form of increasingly pervasive effects of climate change - from more frequent storms, warmer waters making fish move polewards away from traditional fishing grounds and more - and particularly oppressive mechanisms of middle men extracting the rents from fisheries through repeated subletting so that those doing the fishing could barely survive. How do small-scale fishers cope with new, often unpredictable changes and challenges, such as industrial investments into the Blue Economy, changes in markets, new regulations, the drive to establish marine protected areas for which they are rarely consulted, to name but a few such shocks. They require constant alert to cope and adjust to new situations...

To watch the entire lecture, click on the link that takes you to the recording on YouTube.