Are shrimp farmers actual gamblers? An analysis of risk perception and risk management behaviors among shrimp farmers in the Mekong Delta

Shrimp farming is considered a “risky business” and often compared to gambling for farmers. It is associated with a diverse range of risks and uncertainties, including volatile markets, climate variability, and production risks. In order to mitigate the effects of unpredictability farmers may decide on a particular stocking density and adopt different risk management strategies. Aquaculture research has paid little attention to the influence played by the evaluation and selection of different farming practices, risk perceptions associated with shrimp farming, and the farmers' confidence in their own ability to mitigate risk. The objective of this paper is to analyze the case of shrimp farming in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, where different types of shrimp farms (extensive, semi-intensive and intensive) co-exist within the same landscape, to identify the underlying factors driving stocking behavior and the adoption of different risk management strategies.