Pelletier, N and Andre, J and Charef, A and Damalas, D and Green, B and Parker, R and Sumaila, R and Thomas, G and Tobin, R and Watson, R, Energy prices and seafood security, Global Environmental Change, 24 pp. 30-41. ISSN 0959-3780 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Fish resources are critical to the food security of many nations. Similar to most contemporary food
systems, many fisheries and aquaculture resource supply chains are heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
Energy price increases and volatility may hence undermine food security in some contexts. Here, we
explore the relationships between energy price changes, fish resource supply chain viability, seafood
availability and food security outcomes – both for producers and consumers of fish resources. We begin
by characterizing the energy intensities of fish resource supply chains, which are shown to be highly
variable. We subsequently assess the comparative magnitude and distribution of potential food security
impacts of energy price increases for nation states by scoring and ranking countries against a set of
vulnerability criteria including metrics of national exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity.
Considerable variability in the vulnerability of populations and high levels of exposure for already
food-insecure populations are apparent. Developed countries are likely to be most exposed to the effects
of energy price increases due to their high rates of fleet motorization and preference for energy-intensive
seafood products. However, heavy reliance on seafood as a source of food and income, as well as limited
national adaptive capacity, translates into greater overall vulnerability in developing countries. At the
level of individual producers, a variety of adaptation options are available that may serve to reduce
vulnerability to energy price changes and hence contribute to increased food security for producers and
consumers, but uptake capacity depends on numerous situational factors.
food security, energy price, fisheries, aquaculture, adaptive capacity, vulnerability