Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 17, Iss. 1 > Art. 4 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Can We Be Both Resilient and Well, and What Choices Do People Have? Incorporating Agency into the Resilience Debate from a Fisheries Perspective.

Sarah Coulthard, University of Ulster

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04483-170104

Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


Abstract

In the midst of a global fisheries crisis, there has been great interest in the fostering of adaptation and resilience in fisheries, as a means to reduce vulnerability and improve the capacity of fishing society to adapt to change. However, enhanced resilience does not automatically result in improved well-being of people, and adaptation strategies are riddled with difficult choices, or trade-offs, that people must negotiate. This paper uses the context of fisheries to explore some apparent tensions between adapting to change on the one hand, and the pursuit of well-being on the other, and illustrates that trade-offs can operate at different levels of scale. It argues that policies that seek to support fisheries resilience need to be built on a better understanding of the wide range of consequences that adaptation has on fisher well-being, the agency people exert in negotiating their adaptation strategies, and how this feeds back into the resilience of fisheries as a social-ecological system. The paper draws from theories on agency and adaptive preferences to illustrate how agency might be better incorporated into the resilience debate.

Key words

adaptation; agency; fisheries; resilience
Top
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087