Session 1

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Thursday, March 5th
9:30 AM

French Truffles and Forest Transitions

Eric Van Vleet, Florida International University

GC150, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Florida International University

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Truffle production in France has declined by more than 90% over the last 100 years. Commonly cited causes include a massive rural exodus that led to more open canopy forests becoming less intensively managed and reverting to closed canopy forests, the latter which do not favor truffle production. Scholars have labeled such a process as a forest transition, when a location goes from previously losing forest cover to regrowth and net gains in forest cover. Scholars have single out France as a place with a marked forest transition. Commonly these increases in forest cover are assumed to be a beneficial public good. Here, I question if it is accurate to view forest transitions as being universally beneficial, especially considering that this changing ecology has had strongly deleterious impacts on truffle production and those who rely on it for revenue. In this study I will use remote sensed images to examine if a forest transition did in fact occur in the department of Lot, France and what are the impacts forest trends have had on truffle cultivation. I will further estimates potential losses of revenue from truffle production which has resulted from any existing forest transition.

9:50 AM

Blue Development: Analyzing the Role of the State in the Rise of Aquaculture in India

Brittany L. Kiessling, Florida International University

GC150, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Florida International University

9:50 AM - 10:05 AM

In this paper, I analyze the processes that transformed aquaculture into a major export industry in India, in order to understand the role aquaculture has as a social and economic development strategy of the Indian state. The discussion employs a political ecology approach as I explore the complex relations between access and control of India’s coastal resources, society, and economy. I argue that many of the forces that initiated the development of aquaculture in India, namely the involvement of the Indian state, continue to shape the industry today. I also discuss how despite widespread social conflict, the shrimp farming industry, in particular, continues to thrive and grow in rural India. My analysis utilizes ethnographic and archival data collected over the course of 9 months of fieldwork in Tamil Nadu, India.

Keywords: rural development, aquaculture, India, State, ethnography

10:10 AM

Managing small-scale commercial fisheries for adaptive capacity: Insights from dynamic social-ecological drivers of change in Monterey Bay

Stacy E. Aguilera, University of Miami

GC150, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Florida International University

10:10 AM - 10:25 AM

Globally, small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are driven by climate, governance, and market factors of social-ecological change, presenting both challenges and opportunities. The ability of small-scale fishermen and buyers to adapt to changing conditions allows participants to survive economic or environmental disturbances and to benefit from optimal conditions. This study presented here identifies key large-scale factors that drive SSFs in California to shift focus among targets and that dictate long-term trends in landings. We use Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological System (SES) framework to apply an interdisciplinary approach when identifying potential factors and when understanding the complex dynamics of these fisheries. We analyzed the interactions among Monterey Bay SSFs over the past four decades since the passage of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976. In this region, the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), and market squid (Loligo opalescens) fisheries comprise a tightly linked system where shifting focus among fisheries is a key element to adaptive capacity and reduced social and ecological vulnerability. Using a cluster analysis of landings, we identified four modes from 1974 to 2012 that were dominated by squid, sardine, anchovy, or lacked any dominance, enabling us to identify external drivers attributed to a change in fishery dominance during seven distinct transition points. Overall, we show that market and climate factors drive the transitions among dominance modes. Governance phases most dictated long-term trends in landings and are best viewed as a response to changes in perceived biomass and thus a proxy for biomass. Our findings suggest that globally, small-scale fishery managers should consider enabling shifts in effort among fisheries and retaining existing flexibility, as adaptive capacity is a critical determinant for social and ecological resilience.