Climate change adaptation and the role of fuel subsidies: An empirical bio-economic modeling study for an artisanal open-access fishery

PLoS One. 2019 Aug 21;14(8):e0220433. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220433. eCollection 2019.

Abstract

Climate change can severely impact artisanal fisheries and affect the role they play in food security. We study climate change effects on the triple bottom line of ecological productivity, fishers' incomes, and fish consumption for an artisanal open-access fishery. We develop and apply an empirical, stochastic bio-economic model for the Senegalese artisanal purse seine fishery on small pelagic fish and compare the simulated fishery's development using four climate projections and two policy scenarios. We find that economic processes of adaptation may amplify the effects of climate variations. The regions' catch potential increases with climate change, induced by stock distribution changes. However, this outcome escalates over-fishing, whose effects outpace the incipiently favorable climate change effects under three of the four climate projections. Without policy action, the fishery is estimated to collapse in 2030-2035 on average over 1000 runs. We propose an easily implementable and overall welfare-increasing intervention: reduction of fuel subsidies. If fuel subsidies were abolished, ecological sustainability as well as the fishery's welfare contribution would increase regardless of the climate projection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Climate Change*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / economics*
  • Ecosystem
  • Fisheries / economics*
  • Fishes
  • Models, Economic*

Grant support

All four authors were supported by the EU FP7/2007–2013 PREFACE Project, for which we are grateful. J. O. Schmidt acknowledges support from the Cluster of Excellence Future Ocean. Kira Lancker gratefully acknowledges the support of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig funded by the German Research Foundation (FZT 118). We acknowledge support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and Leipzig University within the program of Open Access Publishing.