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Livelihood Diversification by fisher women as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: evidence from a small scale fishing community in Southern Sri Lanka Public Deposited

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  • Coping with climate change is one of the most serious issues confronting small scale coastal fishing communities today. This study examined how small scale fisherwomen diversified their livelihood as an adaptation strategy against climate related risks. The study was conducted in Nilwella fishing village of Southern Sri Lanka. Focus group discussions and a structured survey of 94 fisher women were the tools employed for data collection. As revealed by the results, majority of the respondents have observed an increase in the intensity of rainfall and a shift in rainy seasons. As a result, 46% was revealed that they suffer with 15 – 21 ‘zero catch’ days per month. These changes have prompted the small scale fisherwomen to adapt different strategies to smoothen fluctuations in inter-temporal flows of fishing incomes. Among several alternative livelihoods, majority of small scale fisherwomen were engaged in fish drying and producing “Maldive fish” (umbalakada) to smoothen income fluctuations. These alternative livelihoods contribute up to 50% of the monthly average household income. A significant positive relationship was found between the number of livelihood activities and average monthly household income (r=0.307, p < 0 .01). A number of interventions were suggested to enhance fisher women’s contribution to household income and capacity to cope with climate change, which included market access to products and opportunities for vocational trainings for alternative employments outside the fisheries sector.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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