Title: Risk of impacts from extreme weather and climate in river-based tilapia cage culture in Northern Thailand

Authors: Phimphakan Lebel; Niwooti Whangchai; Chanagun Chitmanat; Louis Lebel

Addresses: Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290, Thailand ' Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290, Thailand ' Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290, Thailand ' Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Abstract: This paper analyses the direct impacts of extreme weather, high and low flow events, seasonality and other climate-related phenomena on river-based tilapia cage aquaculture in Northern Thailand. An interdisciplinary approach was taken, which included analysis of secondary water flow and meteorological data, quantitative and qualitative surveys of farmers' experiences with extreme events, and direct observations during critical periods. Findings show that extreme high and low flows adversely impact a substantial fraction of farms, causing damage to cages, fish deaths, slow growth and disease problems. Economic losses are significant and result in financial debt. Compensation and assistance following floods is modest relative to losses, and coverage is incomplete. Probability of extreme flows and impacts vary among locations, are highly seasonal, and vary inter-annually. These findings are important to improving management of climate-related risks, under both current and future climatic conditions.

Keywords: climate change; floods; tilapia cage aquaculture; drought; adaptation; risk; impacts; extreme weather; water infrastructure; Thailand; seasonality; flooding; secondary water flow; meteorological data; farmer experiences; freshwater aquaculture; fish supplies; economic losses; fish farming; rivers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2015.073054

International Journal of Global Warming, 2015 Vol.8 No.4, pp.534 - 554

Available online: 16 Nov 2015 *

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