Fisheries connectivity measures of adaptive capacity in small-scale fisheries

Keiko Nomura*, Jameal F. Samhouri, Andrew F. Johnson, Alfredo Giron-Nava, James R. Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) around the world are increasingly facing pressures from a range of environmental, economic, and social sources. To sustain SSFs, it is imperative to understand how fishing communities adapt to these pressures. In particular, to manage economic risks fishers often catch many different species; diversifying harvest portfolios creates multiple income sources in case one species becomes less abundant, less valuable, or otherwise unavailable. Here, we apply fisheries connectivity network analysis to assess the portfolios and potential adaptive capacity of small-scale fishing communities in the Baja California Peninsula (BCP), Mexico. We found that network metrics like modularity and density varied by region and through time. The Pacific coast region of Baja California displayed increasingly modular fisheries connectivity networks, indicating fisheries landings became increasingly asynchronous with each other and the potential adaptive capacity increased. The remaining three regions of Baja California showed the opposite trend, where the temporal covariance between fisheries increased over time. Overall, this study shows that the potential adaptive capacity of fishing communities varies substantially throughout the BCP, and highlights how fisheries connectivity networks can offer a way to quantify and advance our understanding of adaptive capacity within small-scale fishing communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-531
Number of pages13
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number2
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • adaptive capacity
  • fisheries
  • network theory
  • resilience
  • risk management
  • social-ecological systems
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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