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Development and government policies of the shrimp farming industry in Thailand in relation to mangrove ecosystems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2002 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, Vol. 40, no 3, 441-455 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Intensive shrimp farming arrived in Thailand during the 1980s and developed virtually unregulated until 1987. Subsidised by the government, it quickly became an important export industry and Thailand has been the world's largest producer of tiger shrimp since 1991. However, the development of the shrimp farming industry in Thailand over the last 20 years in relation to its use of mangrove ecosystems is an example of sequential exploitation of natural resources witnessed through the shift in farm development from one region to another. This sequential exploitation has caused widespread degradation of mangrove ecosystems, and the benefits of the industry may be less than perceived as a result of subsidies and environmental and social impacts. This study follows the development of shrimp farming in Thailand from the 1940s to 1997 and studies national legislation and associated government policy as examples of driving forces behind this development. From our findings it appears that the development of legislation has not followed the same pace as the development of the industry, neither temporally, nor in content nor implementation, and contradictory policies have arisen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2002. Vol. 40, no 3, 441-455 p.
Keyword [en]
Formal institutions; Driving forces; Sequential exploitation
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Systems Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23182DOI: 10.1016/S0921-8009(02)00011-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23182DiVA: diva2:190533
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176Available from: 2004-05-17 Created: 2004-05-17 Last updated: 2009-12-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Masking environmental feedback: Misfits between institutions and ecosystems in Belize and Thailand
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Masking environmental feedback: Misfits between institutions and ecosystems in Belize and Thailand
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis analyses relationships between ecological and social systems in the context of coastal ecosystems. It examines human impacts from resource extraction and addresses management and governance behind resource exploitation. The main premises are that a lack of ecological knowledge leads to poor ecosystem management and that the dichotomy between social and natural systems is an artificial one. The thesis illustrates the importance of basing resource management on the ecological conditions of the resource and its ecosystem. It also demonstrates the necessity of accounting for the human dimension in ecosystem management and the challenges of organising human actions for sustainable use of ecosystem services in the face of economic incentives that push users towards short-term extraction.

Many Caribbean coral reefs have undergone a shift from coral to macroalgal domination. An experiment on Glovers Reef Atoll in Belize manually cleared patch reefs in a no-take zone and a fished zone (Papers I and II). The study hypothesised that overfishing has reduced herbivorous fish populations that control macroalgae growth. Overall, management had no significant effect on fish abundance and the impacts of the algal reduction were short-lived. This illustrated that the benefits of setting aside marine reserves in impacted environments should not be taken for granted.

Papers III and IV studied the development of the lobster and conch fisheries in Belize, and the shrimp farming industry in Thailand respectively. These studies found that environmental feedback can be masked to give the impression of resource abundance through sequential exploitation. In both cases inadequate property rights contributed to this unsustainable resource use.

The final paper (V) compared the responses to changes in the resource by the lobster fisheries in Belize and Maine in terms of institutions, organisations and their role in management. In contrast to Maine’s, the Belize system seems to lack social mechanisms for responding effectively to environmental feedback. The results illustrate the importance of organisational and institutional diversity that incorporate ecological knowledge, respond to ecosystem feedback and provide a social context for learning from and adapting to change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för systemekologi, 2004. 35 p.
Keyword
Marine reserves, ecosystem change, sequential exploitation, pathology of resource use, institutions, driving forces, coral reefs, social-ecological systems, mangroves, aquaculture, Belize, Thailand, Maine
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176 (URN)91-7265-881-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-06-07, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-05-17 Created: 2004-05-17Bibliographically approved

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