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Title: Fisher livelihoods in southern Thailand : sustainability and the role of grouper culture
Author: Sheriff, Natasja
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2006
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The sustainability of grouper culture as an alternative livelihood option for coastal fishers was investigated in the southern provinces of Thailand. A sequenced approach using qualitative and quantitative research methods was used to explore factors that could undermine the potential for grouper culture to contribute to a sustainable livelihood. A study was initially conducted in 28 villages in 6 provinces in southern Thailand to provide baseline information on grouper aquaculture and fisheries, focusing on culture practice, the actors and institutions involved in grouper culture and beneficiaries. Factors contributing to the variation in levels of uptake of grouper culture between provinces was explored. This initial overview facilitated the description of the grouper culture system in terms of its boundaries, hierarchies, interconnections and processes and the development of a framework for the assessment of the sustainability of the grouper culture system. A case study approach was used to investigate in-depth the role and sustainability of grouper culture at the community and household level. Three communities were selected for study in Trang and Satun provinces. Research was guided by the sustainability assessment framework, which comprised five components: Livelihoods, Institutions, Environment, Markets and Production Systems. Data was collected using qualitative, participatory methods and a quantitative survey. The research found that grouper culture has the potential to contribute to a sustainable livelihood for coastal fishers in southern Thailand, although problems with fish disease and mortality, fluctuations in the availability of seed fish and water quality undermine the ability of most farmers to obtain the maximum benefit from grouper culture. Non-technical factors including motivation and incentive, access to financial capital and levels of social capital were also observed to influence sustainability of grouper culture. Grouper culture was found to be an activity in which members of all wealth groups could participate with institutional support, access to credit, and access to wild sources of seed and feed. It is unlikely to provide a suitable alternative to fishing, as the two activities contribute in different ways to the livelihoods of coastal households, but may support livelihood diversification.
Supervisor: Little, David C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Small-scale fisheries Thailand ; Grouper fisheries Thailand ; Livelihoods ; Grouper ; Thailand ; Small-scale aquaculture ; Sustainability ; Coastal