Planning for a Changing Climate: A Participatory Approach to Fishing Community Adaptation

Changes in climate are placing pressure on Atlantic fisheries and the communities they support. Using a participatory modeling process, this project brings together local stakeholders in the town of South Thomaston, Maine, to characterize community vulnerability and identify actions intended to increase community resilience.

The goals of this work are (1) to improve knowledge of how a changing climate will affect fishing communities’ abilities to maintain marine fisheries and dependent local economies; and (2) investigate the role of a structured dialogue and participatory modeling process to support decision makers in fishing communities addressing consequences, vulnerabilities, and adaptive strategies in a context of climate stressors.

Based on findings from a 2012 NOAA-funded research project focused on promoting climate change awareness and adaptation planning in Atlantic fisheries communities, we are developing decision-making tools and other resources for lobster fishermen in Midcoast Maine to help them “fish smarter, not harder.”

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