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Fishing Livelihoods and Diversifications in the Mekong River Basin in the Context of the Pak Mun Dam, Thailand

Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology; University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
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Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187438
Received: 17 June 2020 / Revised: 24 August 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 10 September 2020
Fishing livelihoods are under stress in many regions of the world, including the lower Mekong river basin. Building on research on the socio-economic impacts of hydroelectric development, this paper explores the spatial dimensions of livelihood diversifications. Research in 2016 and 2017, involving 26 semi-structured interviews in nine upstream, downstream, tributary and relocated villages in the vicinity of the Pak Mun hydroelectric dam, provides insight into how villagers have coped and adapted fishing livelihoods over time. Results are consistent with other research that has detailed the adverse effects of hydroelectric development on fishing livelihoods. Interviewees in the nine communities in the Isan region of Thailand experienced declines in the abundance and diversity of fish valued as food, and engaged in other household economic activities to support their families, including rice farming, marketing of fishing assets and other innovations. Stories of youth leaving communities (rural-urban migration) in search of employment and education were also shared. Although exploratory, our work confronts theories that fishing is a livelihood practice of “last resort”. Narratives suggest that both fishing and diversification to other activities have been both necessary and a choice among villagers with the ultimate aim of offsetting the adverse impacts and associated insecurity created by the dam development. View Full-Text
Keywords: livelihood; diversifications; hydroelectric development; Pak Mun dam; Mekong river basin; traditional knowledge; local ecological knowledge livelihood; diversifications; hydroelectric development; Pak Mun dam; Mekong river basin; traditional knowledge; local ecological knowledge
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amabel, D.; Parlee, B. Fishing Livelihoods and Diversifications in the Mekong River Basin in the Context of the Pak Mun Dam, Thailand. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7438. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187438

AMA Style

Amabel D, Parlee B. Fishing Livelihoods and Diversifications in the Mekong River Basin in the Context of the Pak Mun Dam, Thailand. Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7438. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187438

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amabel, D’Souza, and Brenda Parlee. 2020. "Fishing Livelihoods and Diversifications in the Mekong River Basin in the Context of the Pak Mun Dam, Thailand" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7438. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187438

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