Seafood Globalization: Implications for Vulnerability and Resilience
Seafood is among the most highly traded food commodities and plays an important role in global nutrition. Further, its production is closely tied to the ecosystems that support harvests and the natural resources (e.g. clean water) that allow aquaculture. Together intensive trade and tight linkages between seafood production and the environment distances consumers from the environmental impacts of seafood production and exposes seafood production to environmental change and variability. The goal
... of this dissertation is to assess the globalization of seafood and the resulting implications for vulnerability and resilience. The historical structure and evolution of the seafood trade network was characterized using network analysis. This analysis revealed an increase in trade partnerships by 65% and an increase in traded quantity by 58% over the period 1994 to 2012. Additionally, the trade patterns in the network indicate: increased influence of Thailand and China, strengthened intraregional trade, and increased exports from South America and Asia. This increasing globalization can allow countries to buffer against local or regional shocks that might cause sharp declines in seafood supply but also exposes nations to external shocks transmitted through the trade network. Central and West Africa were found to be the most vulnerable to such shocks in a forward shock-propagation model. Historical cases of shocks to seafood production are identified using a statistical shock identification approach with a complementary qualitative approach. The identified cases indicate that there is no trend in the frequency or magnitude of shocks in the aggregated production or in the magnitude of shocks in the species production, but there is an increase in the frequency of shocks in the species time series.