Climate change and resilience in industrial aquaculture : a study of community capitals in the shrimp-farming zone in Bangladesh
Shaikh Mohammad Kais
Date of Issue2018
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
While industrial aquaculture is one of the key components in sociology of global agro-food systems, climate change vulnerabilities and resilience at community levels are a growing concern in the twenty-first century environmental sociology. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing industries in the world; however, its growth trajectory is confronted with various challenges including climate disruptions. Since both aquaculture and climate change have regional variations, comprehensive understanding of their complex interconnections requires systematic investigation. In various parts of the world, especially in the Global South, aquacultural countries are assessing these interconnections and devising resilience-enhancing programmes for development of the sector. Using a conceptual thread comprised of global climate change and community resilience, this thesis critically examines how the shrimp aquaculture industry in Bangladesh is affected by climate disruptions and how the shrimp farming communities address these challenges. A triangulation of methods – incorporating content analysis of secondary sources, ethnography, and qualitative interview – was adopted in collecting data on the commercial shrimp farming in Bangladesh. All collected data were analysed qualitatively. The findings from this research suggest that there is a clearly visible resilience gradient in the shrimp aquaculture industry in Bangladesh: individual shrimp farmers and households play a central role in resilience enhancement, while other stakeholders including community, state, and civil society organizations have moderate-to-little involvement in aiding resilience in the sector. Finally, this research aims to expand sociological knowledge by applying a community resilience framework to adaptation, which incorporates community capitals and architecture of entitlements as the working ground of climate change and resilience dimensions, in aquaculture communities in the global South. In specific terms, this study contributes to sociology of climate change and resilience by providing thick qualitative narratives on local community-level dynamics of actions and transformations from a site where climate change is a day-to-day reality. Additionally, this research contributes to sociology of aquaculture by providing some fascinating insights into a specific aquaculture-based livelihood sector, i.e. industrial shrimping in Bangladesh.