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An acidic future for Norwegian fisheries? : assessing the socio-economic vulnerability of the N

Heinrich, Luise LU (2015) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20151
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Ocean acidification, caused by the increased uptake of anthropogenic CO2, describes a change in the ocean’s carbonate chemistry. While its chemical processes are well understood, less is known about its biological and subsequently socio-economic consequences. However, there is evidence that marine organisms will be adversely affected by a decrease in pH and carbonate saturation levels. Fishery is a traditionally important economic sector in Norway but stock sizes and consequently also catch could be significantly threatened by ocean acidification. To improve the understanding of potential socio-economic consequences, I conducted a risk assessment among the 19 Norwegian counties following Mathis et al.’s (2014) application of the IPCC’s... (More)
Ocean acidification, caused by the increased uptake of anthropogenic CO2, describes a change in the ocean’s carbonate chemistry. While its chemical processes are well understood, less is known about its biological and subsequently socio-economic consequences. However, there is evidence that marine organisms will be adversely affected by a decrease in pH and carbonate saturation levels. Fishery is a traditionally important economic sector in Norway but stock sizes and consequently also catch could be significantly threatened by ocean acidification. To improve the understanding of potential socio-economic consequences, I conducted a risk assessment among the 19 Norwegian counties following Mathis et al.’s (2014) application of the IPCC’s SREX risk assessment framework. The SREX framework combines information regarding hazard, exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The results show that the northernmost counties are most at risk as high-latitude oceans are considered to be more threatened compared to lower- latitude regions. The second part of the analysis shows that particularly the southernmost counties, which engage in the harvest of crustaceans are more economically exposed due to the fact that these species are more susceptible to ocean acidification and generate a higher catch value. The results of the sensitivity related calculations show that the share of income generated from fisheries is very low compared to the total income. However, direct county comparisons highlight that the northern counties reveal a higher level of sensitivity, as the share of fishermen is substantially higher there than in most other counties. Adaptive capacity is considerably lower in the northern counties than in the other counties. Overall, the final risk assessment points out that 13 out of 19 counties face moderate to high risk from ocean acidification. My research shows that the SREX risk framework is applicable for evaluating the impacts of ocean acidification. In the case of Norway however, substantial improvements can be achieved by increasing the availability of detailed data, such as long- term monitoring of oceanic conditions, better information regarding the biological impact of species, and more detailed employment and income statistics. Overall, my thesis shows that, although still in its infancy, integrated risk assessments are an important prerequisite for any form of interdisciplinary ocean acidification research and the development of successful response strategies. In future studies this quantitative research could be complemented by qualitative methods such as assessing awareness among fishermen through interviews or a participatory approach for incorporating local knowledge into adaptation efforts. (Less)
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author
Heinrich, Luise LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
risk assessment, ocean acidification, Norway, fishery, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2015:009
funder
German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD
language
English
id
5464110
date added to LUP
2015-06-04 09:58:36
date last changed
2015-06-04 09:58:36
@misc{5464110,
  abstract     = {Ocean acidification, caused by the increased uptake of anthropogenic CO2, describes a change in the ocean’s carbonate chemistry. While its chemical processes are well understood, less is known about its biological and subsequently socio-economic consequences. However, there is evidence that marine organisms will be adversely affected by a decrease in pH and carbonate saturation levels. Fishery is a traditionally important economic sector in Norway but stock sizes and consequently also catch could be significantly threatened by ocean acidification. To improve the understanding of potential socio-economic consequences, I conducted a risk assessment among the 19 Norwegian counties following Mathis et al.’s (2014) application of the IPCC’s SREX risk assessment framework. The SREX framework combines information regarding hazard, exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The results show that the northernmost counties are most at risk as high-latitude oceans are considered to be more threatened compared to lower- latitude regions. The second part of the analysis shows that particularly the southernmost counties, which engage in the harvest of crustaceans are more economically exposed due to the fact that these species are more susceptible to ocean acidification and generate a higher catch value. The results of the sensitivity related calculations show that the share of income generated from fisheries is very low compared to the total income. However, direct county comparisons highlight that the northern counties reveal a higher level of sensitivity, as the share of fishermen is substantially higher there than in most other counties. Adaptive capacity is considerably lower in the northern counties than in the other counties. Overall, the final risk assessment points out that 13 out of 19 counties face moderate to high risk from ocean acidification. My research shows that the SREX risk framework is applicable for evaluating the impacts of ocean acidification. In the case of Norway however, substantial improvements can be achieved by increasing the availability of detailed data, such as long- term monitoring of oceanic conditions, better information regarding the biological impact of species, and more detailed employment and income statistics. Overall, my thesis shows that, although still in its infancy, integrated risk assessments are an important prerequisite for any form of interdisciplinary ocean acidification research and the development of successful response strategies. In future studies this quantitative research could be complemented by qualitative methods such as assessing awareness among fishermen through interviews or a participatory approach for incorporating local knowledge into adaptation efforts.},
  author       = {Heinrich, Luise},
  keyword      = {risk assessment,ocean acidification,Norway,fishery,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {An acidic future for Norwegian fisheries? : assessing the socio-economic vulnerability of the N},
  year         = {2015},
}