Abstract

In the Baltic Sea region, salmon are valued for the ecological, economic, and cultural benefits they provide. However, these fish are threatened due to historical overfishing, disease, and reduced access to spawning rivers. Climate change may pose another challenge for salmon management. Therefore, we conducted a problem-framing study to explore the effects climate change may have on salmon and the socio-ecological system they are embedded within. Addressing this emerging issue will require the cooperation of diverse stakeholders and the integration of their knowledge and values in a contentious management context. Therefore, we conducted this problem framing as a participatory process with stakeholders, whose mental models and questionnaire responses form the basis of this study. By framing the climate change problem in this way, we aim to provide a holistic understanding of the problem and incorporate stakeholder perspectives into the management process from an early stage to better address their concerns and establish common ground. We conclude that considering climate change is relevant for Baltic salmon management, although it may not be the most pressing threat facing these fish. Stakeholders disagree about whether climate change will harm or benefit salmon, when it will become a relevant issue in the Baltic context, and whether or not management efforts can mitigate any negative impacts climate change may have on salmon and their fishery. Nevertheless, by synthesizing the stakeholders' influence diagrams, we found 15 themes exemplifying: (1) how climate change may affect salmon, (2) goals for salmon management considering climate change, and (3) strategies for achieving those goals. Further, the stakeholders tended to focus on the riverine environment and the salmon life stages occurring therein, potentially indicating the perceived vulnerability of these life stages to climate change. Interestingly, however, the stakeholders tended to focus on traditional fishery management measures, like catch quotas, to meet their goals for these fish considering climate change. Further, social variables, like “politics,” “international cooperation,” and “employment” comprised a large proportion of the stakeholders' diagrams, demonstrating the importance of these factors for salmon management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number140068
JournalThe Science of the Total Environment
Volume738
Number of pages18
ISSN0048-9697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Baltic Sea
  • Climate change
  • Mental models
  • Cognitive maps
  • Participatory modeling
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Expert elicitation
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • ATLANTIC SALMON
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE
  • WATER TEMPERATURE
  • SENEGAL RIVER
  • MENTAL MODELS
  • SALAR
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • MANAGEMENT
  • FISHERIES
  • RESOURCES

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