To fish or not to fish: Factors at multiple scales affecting artisanal fishers' readiness to exit a declining fishery

Globally, fisheries are challenged by the combined impacts of overfishing, degradation of ecosystems and impacts of climate change, while fisheries livelihoods are further pressured by conservation policy imperatives. Fishers' adaptive responses to these pressures, such as exiting from a fishery to pursue alternative livelihoods, determine their own vulnerability, as well as the potential for reducing fishing effort and sustaining fisheries. The willingness and ability to make particular adaptations in response to change, such as exiting from a declining fishery, is influenced by economic, cultural and institutional factors operating at scales from individual fishers to national economies.