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Survey of Climate-Related Risks to Tilapia Pond Farms in Northern Thailand

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DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2013.45B009    3,217 Downloads   4,563 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Climate is an important factor for aquaculture production. This study aimed to understand how farmers that culture tilapia in earthen ponds perceive and respond to climate impacts. Important climate-related risks identified include extreme temperatures (hot and cold), excessive rainfall, prolonged cloud cover, flood and drought. Site visits and data collection using questionnaires were conducted to identify important factors influencing farm profits, losses, decision to increase or decrease ponds. Special attention was given to knowledge about fish markets and weather and the impacts of weather and climate on fish growth, disease outbreaks and water quality in ponds. Altogether 585 fish farms in four provinces in northern part of Thailand selected to cover a range of elevations above sea level and thus climate were surveyed (Nakornsawan< 100 m, Lampang 100-300 m, Phayao 300-500 m and Chiang Mai > 500 m). Fish farms at different elevations reported different climate and weather-related impacts. In the area where elevation above sea level is < 100 m, farmers were affected more by floods and extreme hot weather which caused fish deaths and stress that reduced feeding and growth rates. Conversely, fish farmers in the area where elevation above sea level is >500 were impacted mainly by drought and cold weather. These conditions also caused disease outbreaks and reduced feeding rates. Farmers responded by reducing the amount of feed supplied and considering non-fish pond or non-farm supplementary occupations as an adaptation strategy. Among non-climate related factors high prices of feed were most commonly identified as a key issue by farmers. The differences among sites at higher and lower elevation provided insights into the kind of changes in risks farmers may face as climate changes that could be helpful in developing adaptation strategies for individual farmers and the sector as a whole.

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P. Pimolrat, N. Whangchai, C. Chitmanat, J. Promya and L. Lebel, "Survey of Climate-Related Risks to Tilapia Pond Farms in Northern Thailand," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 5B, 2013, pp. 54-59. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.45B009.

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