Inderscience Publishers

Vulnerability of freshwater fisheries and impacts of climate change in south Indian states economies

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We compare the vulnerability of five states in India national economies to potential climate change impacts on their capture fisheries using an indicator-based approach. States in India (e.g., Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhrapradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra) were identified as most vulnerable. This vulnerability was due to the combined effect of predicted warming, the relative importance of fisheries to national economies and diets, and limited societal capacity to adapt to potential impacts and opportunities. Many vulnerable states were also among the country's least developed states whose inhabitants are among the poorest and twice as reliant on fish, which provides 32% of dietary protein compared to 12% in less vulnerable states. These states also produce 25% of the country's fish exports and are in greatest need of adaptation planning to maintain or enhance the contribution that fisheries can make to poverty reduction. Reducing fish mortality in the majority of fisheries, which are currently fully exploited or overexploited, is the principal feasible means of reducing the impacts of climate change.

Keywords: climate change impact, freshwater fisheries, vulnerability, poverty, India, economy, diet

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