Addressing Vulnerability: Coping Strategies of Fishing Communities in Yucatan, Mexico

  • Silvia SalasEmail author
  • Maiken Bjørkan
  • Felipe Bobadilla
  • Miguel A. Cabrera


In this chapter, we present a case study from Yucatan, Mexico. The main hazards that fisher groups are confronted with in coastal areas are explored, as well as the coping strategies fishers have developed to face them. We also investigate the sense of well-being according to fishers’ perceptions, and contrast with the level of marginalization reported in official records. Our findings suggest that fishers do not consider themselves poor, as long as they have access to fishing. Fishing gives them food security, but declining catches and other factors beyond their control, such as increase in the frequency of hurricanes and red tides, also expose them to risk and vulnerability. Several social and political issues generate concern among fishers as well. They employ proactive and reactive strategies at the individual and community levels to face those challenges. However, our research discovered that there are differences between communities and groups of fishers regarding those strategies. We contend that socio-economic conditions and levels of organization influence the ways fishers develop coping strategies. We discuss our findings in light of strategies that can be promoted to improve adaptive capacity of fishers in coastal communities, averting them from vulnerable conditions.


Social Capital Coping Strategy Adaptive Capacity Fishing Community Horseshoe Crab 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Salas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maiken Bjørkan
    • 2
  • Felipe Bobadilla
    • 1
  • Miguel A. Cabrera
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico NacionalCINVESTAVMéridaMexico
  2. 2.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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