Interactions between changes in marine ecosystems andhuman communities


Humans are integral parts of marine social—ecological systems. Changes in marine ecosystems impact human communities, and changes in human communities impact marine ecosystems. The interactive nature of these systems is the key to their understanding and governance. This chapter focuses on communities with small‐scale fisheries interacting with their local and regional marine ecosystems. It asks what contributes to high or low resilience to global changes, and considers the intensity of changes, the exposure of the human community, and the ability of the community to cope and adapt. Two additional themes run through the chapter: value, including both monetary and non‐monetary (e.g. cultural) values; and scale, in particular scale mismatches between non‐human marine ecosystems, fishing communities, and their governance systems. Understanding what makes marine social—ecological systems resilient or vulnerable in a world of increasing uncertainty requires the collaborative efforts of natural and social scientists, resource users and managers, and the larger resource community.



Publication Date


Journal Title

Marine Ecosystems and Global Change


Oxford University Press

Document Type

Book Chapter