Adaptive Capacity to Coastal Disasters: Challenges and Lessons from Small-Scale Fishing Communities in Central-Southern Chile

  • Andrés MarínEmail author
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 19)


More frequent and severe coastal disasters represent major threats to small-scale fisheries and challenge their viability and potential as an engine of sustainable development. Hurricanes and storm surges and alluviums and tsunamis, among other fast and unexpected events, often drive multiple and overlapping social and environmental impacts. They also influence changes to which fishing communities must respond and adapt, such as threats to life, material devastation, natural resource loss, and ecosystem transformations. Based on empirical case studies and secondary sources, this chapter examines the successes and failures of small-scale fishing communities in the central-southern Chile since the massive February 2010 earthquake and tsunami. This study draws lessons about the key factors of adaptive capacity among coastal resource user communities. The analysis reinforces the importance of social capital and networks, local ecological knowledge, and livelihood agility, as well as stresses several opportunities and drawbacks that need to be observed on the way to pursue more sustainable small-scale fisheries. A better understanding of what makes a difference for fishing communities in response to natural hazards and other external perturbations can inform the design of more equitable and effective fisheries and coastal management policies, along with strategies in Chile and elsewhere.


Artisanal Benthic Chile Coastal Areas Co-management Ecosystem services Hazards Livelihoods Post-disaster Recovery 



This work would have not been possible without the contribution of more than 300 informants, including fishery workers, coastal dwellers, public sector officers, researchers, and professionals, who kindly and selflessly agreed to share their perceptions, experiences, and information. ¡Muchas gracias a todos y todas! I wish to express my gratitude to my supervisors and coauthors Beatrice Crona, Örjan Bodin, and Stefan Gelcich, for their support, guidance, and insightful discussions throughout the process. I am especially thankful to Dr. Juan C. Castilla for encouragement and inspiration to do research and pursue my doctoral project and to my other coauthors, Gonzalo Araya, Gonzalo Olea, and Gonzalo Espíndola, for the opportunity to work together. The original studies were partly funded by Project CAPES FB-0002. I also thank the support of FONDECYT 11171068 and 1140672 and MUSELS/ICM MINECON.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEDER – Centro de Estudios del Desarrollo Regional y Políticas Públicas, Núcleo de Investigación Desarrollo Local, Regional y Gobernanza Medioambiental, Universidad de Los LagosOsornoChile

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