Species, space and time: A quarter century of fishers' diversification strategies on the US West Coast

Joshua K. Abbott, Yutaro Sakai, Daniel S. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Diversification within fisheries operations can serve as an important form of self-insurance against natural, regulatory and market risks to fishers' livelihoods. Diversification can take many forms, and yet the literature has primarily emphasised diversification across species to the exclusion of spatial and temporal dimensions of diversification. We analyse trends in diversification across species, space and time for all fishers along the entire continental West Coast of the United States from 1990 to 2015. Our findings reveal the importance of untangling both compositional (i.e. driven by changes in fleet composition) and individual (i.e. driven by within-owner changes in diversification strategies) dimensions of diversification by showing how these effects have moved in contrary directions for all three forms of diversification. We also demonstrate how increases in temporal diversification have overwhelmed the overall stability of species and spatial diversification to leave the current fleet less exposed to financial variability compared to in the early 1990s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-110
Number of pages18
JournalFish and Fisheries
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • diversification
  • limited entry
  • livelihood
  • risk
  • variability
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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