EME 504
Foundations in Sustainability Systems

10.3 Fisheries: Effects of Environmental Change on Social and Economic Activity

Haynie and Pfeiffer (2012) present a detailed analysis of the different factors that fisheries consider when determining where their fishing efforts will be located. As they point out, there are many factors affecting these decisions beyond the consideration of the size of the potential catch. This is a fascinating example of adaptation to environmental (global climate) change that responds to an optimization effect, not unlike those that have been discussed as part of mess analysis. They involve socioeconomic, biological, environmental, and regulatory factors. The argument that Haynie and Pfeiffer (2012) bring forth for analysis of industrial response to climate change is consistent with the call for integrated models for social and environmental change made by Perrings et al. (2012). The analysis of the fisheries also highlights the need for assessment at the same timescales at which environmental change occurs. For example, regular assessments of fishing efforts may miss rapid changes in species targeted for fishing, location for landing and processing of harvests, and composition of fishing fleets, all important factors that were identified by Haynie and Pfeiffer (2012).

Class Discussion Forum 10:

Using Figure 1 in the Haynie and Pfeiffer (2012) paper, identify the relationships among the three pillars of sustainability that determine how environmental concerns affect the distribution of fishing efforts.

  1. Represent these factors using the sustainability triad Venn diagram.
  2. Represent these factors using the nested sustainability triad introduced by Giddings et al. (2002).
  3. Which diagram do you find more useful, the one created as part of question 2 or the one in question 3? Why?
  4. Use the fundamentals of Mess Analysis introduced in section 2.5 of Module 2 to construct an alternative diagram showing how the three pillars of sustainability determine how environmental concerns affect the distribution of fishing efforts.
  5. What would you add to the mess analysis to account for differences in the relative importance that the factors under consideration have on the distribution of fishing efforts?