Vulnerability of coastal livelihoods to shrimp farming: Insights from Mozambique
© 2014, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Millions of people around the world depend on shrimp aquaculture for their livelihoods. Yet, the phenomenal growth of shrimp farming has often given rise to considerable environmental and social damage. This article examines the impacts of commercial, export-oriented shrimp aquaculture on local livelihood vulnerability by comparing the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of shrimp farm employees with non-farm employees in rural Mozambique. Exposure to stressors was similar between the two groups. Shrimp farm employees had higher assets and higher adaptive capacity than non-farm employees. However, because their income is heavily dependent on a single commodity, shrimp farm employees were highly susceptible to the boom crop nature of intensive shrimp farming. The implications for aquaculture policy and vulnerability research are discussed. The article argues that coastal vulnerability is dynamic, variable, and influenced by multiple processes operating at multiple scales.