About This Project
This research focuses on the artisanal sardine fishery in northeastern Venezuela, which is projected to be significantly impacted by climate change, with implications for food security and livelihoods. This work has immense value in developing locally-relevant pathways to build social-ecological resilience amidst growing climate risks.
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What is the context of this research?
The sardine species, Sardinella aurita, has been commercially fished in Venezuela since 1927 and is considered the country's most important fishery resource. In 2004, the national catch reached a record high of 200,000 metric tons. Currently, approximately 50,000 metric tons are being captured. Sardines are utilized as raw material for canning and fishmeal, consumed locally, and used as bait for valuable fish. With approximately 12,000 registered sardine fishermen relying solely on this activity for their income, which holds cultural significance, they face uncertainties due to climate change and economic factors. The project's objective is to identify social vulnerabilities and develop strategies to safeguard the environment and the livelihoods of those dependent on sardine fisheries.
What is the significance of this project?
This project holds tremendous significance as it addresses one of the most pressing global challenges we face today: climate change. Extensive prior research shows that climate change poses major risks to marine ecosystems and small-scale fisheries worldwide due to impacts like ocean warming, acidification, sea level rise, and altered productivity. By examining the specific case of the Venezuelan sardine fishery, which sustains livelihoods and food security for thousands of coastal families, this study offers a unique opportunity to develop targeted adaptation strategies that can safeguard both ecosystems and human wellbeing.
What are the goals of the project?
Available fisheries and climate data will be analyzed to create models projecting the future spatial distribution and biomass of sardines under different climate change scenarios. The MAXENT algorithm and Catch Maximum Sustainable Yield (CMSY) technique will be employed for distribution and biomass modeling, respectively. Additionally, the food security status of artisanal sardine fishermen will be assessed.
The socio-ecological vulnerability of fishing communities dependent on sardines will also be estimated by evaluating their exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to climate change impacts. Finally, potential adaptation measures will be explored to mitigate the effects of climate change on this vital fishery and enhance the resilience of vulnerable coastal populations.
The requested budget is crucial for our project's development, particularly in engaging with fishing communities. By allocating funds for travel, accommodation, and volunteer compensation, we can visit these communities directly, building trust and understanding their specific challenges and needs in the face of climate change. Through collaboration and knowledge exchange, we can create tailored adaptation strategies. Working closely with fishing communities ensures our research is relevant and impactful, contributing to sustainable sardine fishery management and improving community well-being and resilience.
The timeline encompasses key phases of data collection, analysis, integration, and communication of findings over the 12-month study duration. This structure will facilitate generating robust insights to build fisheries adaptation
Oct 16, 2023
Nov 15, 2023
Data collection of climate, biological, and social data.
Mar 29, 2024
Ecological modeling and projections
Apr 01, 2024
Analysis of fisheries biomass and vulnerability
Jul 02, 2024
Integration and impact assessment
Meet the Team
I am a Venezuelan biologist driven by an insatiable curiosity for nature and its conservation. I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Zulia and a Master's degree in Ecology from the Central University of Venezuela.
My primary interest lies in comprehending the intricate interactions between living organisms and their habitats, which led me to specialize in marine ecology.
Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology, focusing on studying the effects of climate change on artisanal sardine fishing. My aim is to generate knowledge that can be used to safeguard marine species and the livelihoods of coastal communities.
I bring an interdisciplinary perspective to my research, employing innovative methods such as ecological modeling and participatory approaches. I am deeply passionate about inspiring others to appreciate the wonders of nature and to take proactive steps towards its conservation.
While I firmly believe in the power of science, I also recognize the importance of listening to local communities. My hope is that in the future, humanity will coexist harmoniously with the oceans.
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