Abstract for: Resilience, Social-Ecological Rules, and Environmental Variability in an Artisanal Fishery

Social-ecological resilience is an increasingly central paradigm for understanding sustainable resource management. In this study, we aim to better understand the effect of environmental variability on the resilience of fishery systems, and the important role that social institutions and biophysical constraints play. To explore these issues, we built a dynamic model of the pen shell fishery of the indigenous Seri people in the Gulf of California, Mexico. This model includes the dynamics of the two dominant species in the fishery (Atrina tuberculosa and Pinna rugosa), several institutional rules that the Seri use, and a number of ecological constraints including key stochastic variables derived from empirical data. We find that modeling with the two species, rather than the standard one-species model, uncovers more of the resilience that is present in the system. We also find that it is the combination of several social-ecological rules working in conjunction with the endogenous environmental variability that help ensure the resilience of the system.