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A desert in the delta: Participatory assessment of changing livelihoods induced by commercial shrimp farming in Southwest Bangladesh

A desert in the delta: Participatory assessment of changing livelihoods induced by commercial shrimp farming in Southwest Bangladesh,10.1016/j.ocecoam

A desert in the delta: Participatory assessment of changing livelihoods induced by commercial shrimp farming in Southwest Bangladesh   (Citations: 1)
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In recent years, shrimp aquaculture, which is undertaken largely in the tropical countries, has experienced spectacular growth in response to expanding global demand and higher economic return. Shrimp exports bring substantial foreign exchange to the producing countries and also generate employment for various stakeholders related to this industry. Despite a number positive aspects (e.g., foreign exchange, employment and food) of shrimp farming, the industry has serious negative environmental impacts. Because of the degradation of natural resources, commercial shrimp farming imposes socio-economic costs on rural resource-reliant communities as their traditional means of food production and livelihoods are displaced. Bangladesh produces 2.5 percent of the global production of shrimp. The country earned about 400 million dollars (U.S.) from shrimp exports during 2004–2005, up from only US$3.17 million in 1971–72. Bangladesh is suffering because of unplanned expansion of this aquaculture and increasingly called as “a desert in the delta”. The purpose of this paper is to identify the impact of commercial saltwater shrimp farming on rural livelihood patterns in southwest Bangladesh using different Participatory Research methods. The authors suggest that vulnerabilities in livelihoods of the rural communities increased due to narrowing down agricultural production, income sources and natural supply of food. Other socio-economic impacts (e.g., landuse patterns, homestead and family structure, daily movement pattern and activities, drinking water, and law and order) also followed as a reaction to the changing ecological conditions. It is also found that economic benefits from shrimp cultivation to the communities was minimal or even negative due to the polarization and outflow of profits, which is augmenting the threat of poverty.
Journal: Ocean & Coastal Management - OCEAN COAST MANAGE , vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 45-54, 2011
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