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Climate risk management in river-based tilapia cage culture in northern Thailand

Phimphakan Lebel (Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Niwooti Whangchai (Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Chanagun Chitmanat (Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Louis Lebel (Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 16 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how fish farmers manage climate-related risks and explore possible ways to strengthen risk management under current and future climate.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 662 fish farmers in sites across Northern Thailand were interviewed about risks to the profitability of their fish farms and ways such risks were managed. Nonlinear canonical correlation analysis was used to relate risk factors to management practices at farm and river levels. In total, 68 in-depth interviews with farmers and other stakeholders provided additional information on climate risk management practices.

Findings

Farmers use a combination of adjustments to rearing practices, cropping calendars and financial and social measures to manage those risks, which they perceive as being manageable. Many risks are season, river and place specific; implying that the risk profiles of individual farms can vary substantially. Individual risks are often addressed through multiple practices and strategies; conversely, a particular management practice can have a bearing on several different risks. Farmers recognize that risks must be managed at farm and higher spatial and administrative scales. Social relations and information play critical roles in managing these complex combinations of risks.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to report in detail on how inland fish farmers manage climate-related risks. It underlines the need to consider multiple spatial and temporal scales and that farmers do not manage individual climate-related risks in isolation from other risks.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, as a contribution to the AQUADAPT project. Thanks to the many field assistants, students, officials and farmers who helped with the surveys.

Citation

Lebel, P., Whangchai, N., Chitmanat, C. and Lebel, L. (2015), "Climate risk management in river-based tilapia cage culture in northern Thailand", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 476-498. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-01-2014-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited