Title: The effects of climate change on the socio-economic conditions of the fisheries sector: Case study of West Point Communities, Liberia

Author(s): Zoe Yarwhere
Final project
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Supervisors: Auður H. Ingolfsðóttir
climate change; Liberia; West Point; fishing communities; socio-economic adaptation; fisheries viability


Fishing communities in Liberia are susceptible to climate change's impacts, including variations in mean temperature, increased variability in rainfall, and extreme weather events. The severity of climate change and the nature of its effects on both fishing communities and their socio-economic activities is reviewed in this study focusing on fishing communities in WestPoint Liberia. The study also focuses on how communities that depend on fisheries will be affected by climate change, and it concludes by highlighting the techniques fishermen in WestPoint have used to adapt to that shift. A qualitative data collection approach was adopted via a well-structured questionnaire with open-ended responses from focus groups within the fishing communities in WestPoint. Using the Thematic and Grounded theory for data analysis, the study found decreased fish catches in WestPoint fishing communities, which was related to climate change and variability, and adversely impacted the communities’ socio-economic activities. Several tactics are used by fishermen and community dwellers in WestPoint to maintain their livelihoods and food security, which are under threat from climate change. However, the study found that there are limited adaptation measures in the fishing communities of WestPoint. Changing of fishing boats and gears, migration, and observation of weather are some of the adaptation tactics used by fishermen and community dwellers to deal with the effects of climate change. To influence policy and fisheries management practices, it is crucial to understand how climate change affects socio-economic adaptation and fisheries viability.

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