Evaluating the Influence of Policy and Technology in Driving Aquaculture Land Use Patterns in Thailand, 1990-2013
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Since the 1980's shrimp aquaculture has been one of Thailand's largest industries and has created cultivation ponds as a dominant feature on the landscape. While shrimp farming has been economically successful, it has received criticism for being environmentally harmful, most notably because of farms replacing mangrove forests. Legislation regulating aquaculture development and technological responses to disease outbreak have had a large influence on the land use of the Thai coast. The objective of this research is to provide a systematic examination of how regulation and technology development have influenced land use in this region. To accomplish this, Landsat derived data were analyzed at the national and provincial scale to determine how Thai coastal land use systems change over time. I found that interrelated changes in technology and legislation have had complex influences on the landscape, which encourage both the restriction and expansion of aquaculture growth depending on time and location.