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Community livelihood and patterns of natural resources uses in the shrimp-farm impacted Mekong Delta

Authors


Correspondence: O M Joffre, WorldFish Center, Greater Mekong Office, #35, street 71 Sangkat Beng Keng Kang1, Phnom Penh Cambodia. E-mail: o.joffre@cgiar.org

Abstract

This case study looks at changing livelihood strategies of the coastal population in Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, and their impacts on natural resources. It provides an opportunity not only to document the impact of shrimp farming on coastal livelihood but also to better understand the link between brackish water aquaculture development and natural resource use. The approach includes a socio-economic survey in six villages of the province focusing on risk strategies and livelihood diversification. Shrimp farming was found to be less risky and more profitable for households and private companies with a higher investment capacity than for poorer households. Households facing a high risk in shrimp farming diversified their aquaculture production, with other high-value species like mud crab and elongated goby as a coping mechanism. The use of natural resources' collection is shifting from home consumption towards market-oriented sales of juvenile mud crabs, clams or fish (elongated goby) to supply seed for brackish water aquaculture developments.

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