Climate change and social impacts: women’s perspectives from a fishing community in Western Australia
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A cascade of climate and environmental changes, government intervention and economic responses has led to major social impacts on the Western Australian fishing community of the Abrolhos Islands. In 2006, a significant decline in the number of settling lobster larvae was met with major changes to the management of the fishery. The decline in larval settlement appears to be climate driven. Stocks were protected by reducing the overall catch, but these measures also led to a decrease in the number of fishers operating in the fishery. The management changes have resulted in the decline of this well-established fishing community. From the perspectives of fishing women, this paper explores the tension between the contribution that women make to fishing and their well-documented ‘invisibility’ in this industry. The authors suggest that the lack of management focus on social outcomes and subsequent community impacts are related to the invisibility of women in the fishing industry.
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