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Characterizing shrimp-farm production intensity in Thailand: beyond technical indices

Elwin, A., Jintana, V. and Feola, G. (2020) Characterizing shrimp-farm production intensity in Thailand: beyond technical indices. Ocean & Coastal Management, 185. 105019. ISSN 0964-5691

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.105019

Abstract/Summary

This study examines shrimp farmer behaviour in relation to production intensity along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, and its embeddedness in the wider socio-economic context of shrimp farming households. The integrative agent-centred (IAC) framework was used as a basis for designing a structured survey to collect semi-quantitative data for a range of explanatory variables that potentially drive shrimp farmer behaviour. The results show that shrimp farming intensity is associated with a combination of technical (e.g. farm area, pond size, stocking density and production), economic (shrimp selling price, production costs and farm revenue), social (e.g. farm operating years, the use of family labour, engagement in shrimp farming and with other shrimp farmers), and ecological factors (e.g. farmer reliance on natural pond productivity, and constraints brought about by environmental change and fluctuations in productive areas). In addition, the results indicate that a number of external and internal socio-economic factors are related to the decision to adopt a certain level of production intensity, including training received on farming practices, access to technical equipment, proportion of total income from shrimp farming, season-specific changes in production, risk perception, and subjective culture (social norms and roles). This study therefore illustrates that levels of shrimp farming intensity are in fact an indicator of a diversity of socio-economic conditions and behavioural choices, which need to be targeted by sustainability policies differentially and beyond the technical sphere. In showing this, we conclude that national standards aimed at achieving aquaculture sustainability should be designed to reflect the diversity needed to support such a diverse sector, and should be adjustable to better represent different socio-economic contexts.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:87280
Uncontrolled Keywords:shrimp aquaculture; farming intensity; farmer behaviour; sustainability
Publisher:Elsevier

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