Exploring fishers' perceptions of index insurance and coral reef health in the context of climate-driven changes in extreme events (2022)
Climate-change-driven storminess and extreme events are increasingly challenging fishers in tropical island countries. Weather-based index insurance is an emerging tool that can assist fishing communities in their recovery and adaptation to such events. In these regions, coral reefs support valuable fisheries and also provide coastal protection during extreme events. Surveying fishers in Grenada, this exploratory study examined fishers’ perceptions of index insurance in the context of their experiences of extreme events. We also explore perceptions of reef health and its’ connections to fishing outcomes and coastal protection, given the indirect role this plays in supporting fishers’ resilience through associated fisheries and storm protection. Most fishers viewed extreme events as a severe risk to their livelihoods, affecting their ability to make future plans. Fishers comprehended the links between improved reef health and positive impacts on fishing (higher catches and incomes). Several challenges regarding index insurance were raised, which centred on themes of flexibility, affordability, inclusivity, and accessibility. These could pose barriers to fishers and undermine demand for or participation in such schemes. As such, research, design, and implementation of future index insurance schemes should consider issues raised by fishers to ensure that provision is equitable and improve uptake.
Area of interest: Grenada