Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 1313–1323 | Cite as

Building blocks of economic resilience to climate change: a south east Australian fisheries example

  • Ingrid E. van Putten
  • Sarah Jennings
  • Stewart Frusher
  • Caleb Gardner
  • Marcus Haward
  • Alistair J. Hobday
  • Melissa Nursey-Bray
  • Gretta Pecl
  • André Punt
  • Hilary Revill
Original Article


Climate change will impact on ecological, social, and economic elements of fisheries; however, the three are seldom considered in an integrated fashion. We develop a fishery-level assessment of economic resilience to climate change for the Tasmanian rock lobster fishery, a linked social–ecological system. We outline the main climate change forcing influences that link climate change to the fishery via changes in lobster abundance, distribution, and phenology. Using a bottom-up approach, we identify twelve economic attributes strongly related to the fisheries’ economic resilience to climate change. Resilience attributes are grouped according to the level of the economic domain (business, sectoral, and governance). Attributes are then evaluated to determine the overall economic resilience of the rock lobster fishery in the context of the specific nature of predicted climate change effects. We identify areas of low resilience in the economic sub-system for this fishery. Evaluating the economic resilience of regional fisheries using this integrated, interdisciplinary framework provides a practical, parsimonious, and conceptually sound basis for undertaking comprehensive and contextually tailored assessments of climate change impacts and economic vulnerability. The framework can be extended to include a broader range of climate change impacts and the social domain of the human sub-system.


Climate change Economic resilience Rock lobster fishery Social–ecological system Adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid E. van Putten
    • 1
    • 3
    • 8
  • Sarah Jennings
    • 2
    • 8
  • Stewart Frusher
    • 3
    • 8
  • Caleb Gardner
    • 3
  • Marcus Haward
    • 3
    • 8
  • Alistair J. Hobday
    • 4
    • 8
  • Melissa Nursey-Bray
    • 5
    • 8
  • Gretta Pecl
    • 3
    • 8
  • André Punt
    • 6
  • Hilary Revill
    • 7
  1. 1.Wealth from Oceans FlagshipCSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchHobartAustralia
  2. 2.School of Economics and FinanceUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  4. 4.Climate Adaptation Flagship, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchHobartAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Geography, Environment and PopulationUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  6. 6.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  7. 7.Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and WaterWild Fisheries Management BranchHobartAustralia
  8. 8.Adaptation Research Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources (NCCARF)HobartAustralia

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