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Comparative Resilience in Five North Pacific Regional Salmon Fisheries

Xanthippe Augerot, Pangaea Environmental, LLC
Courtland L Smith, Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

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Abstract

Over the past century, regional fisheries for Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) have been managed primarily for their provisioning function, not for ecological support and cultural significance. We examine the resilience of the regional salmon fisheries of Japan, the Russian Far East, Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington-Oregon-California (WOC) in terms of their provisioning function. Using the three dimensions of the adaptive cycle—capital, connectedness, and resilience—we infer the resilience of the five fisheries based on a qualitative assessment of capital accumulation and connectedness at the regional scale. In our assessment, we evaluate natural capital and connectedness and constructed capital and connectedness. The Russian Far East fishery is the most resilient, followed by Alaska, British Columbia, Japan, and WOC. Adaptive capacity in the fisheries is contingent upon high levels of natural capital and connectedness and moderate levels of constructed capital and connectedness. Cross-scale interactions and global market demand are significant factors in reduced resilience. Greater attention to ecological functioning and cultural signification has the potential to increase resilience in Pacific salmon ecosystems.

Key words

adaptive cycle; capital; connectedness; fisheries; history; North Pacific; resilience; salmon management
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087