Seafood vs. Mangroves

An interesting article from The Independent (UK)  on 24th October 2011 highlights the lost of mangroves in tropical island of Muisne, off Ecuador’s northern coast to due to shrimp farming. Singapore had its fair share of such losses of mangroves due to their establishments. Kindly read Ria Tan’s fact sheet  on shrimp ponds in Singapore.

Highlights of the article:

“Feeding the developed world’s seemingly insatiable demand for cheap seafood, shrimp farms have ravaged Muisne’s delicate mangrove ecosystem…”

“In the 1970s, before shrimp farms arrived, the island had 20,000 hectares of mangroves. Now there are just over 5,000 hectares”

“From Indonesia to Brazil, the story is the same. Yet nowhere has the growth of farms for shrimp, prawns, salmon and other species been as explosive as in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, production in the region grew annually at 21.1 per cent between 1970 and 2008. Over the same period, annual global consumption of farm-reared seafood has risen from 700g to 7.8kg per capita. ”

The articles also reiterates the bad impacts of shrimp farms not only to mangroves but to other ecosystems

“The shrimp farms typically have a complex series of environmental impacts. Initially, sections of the mangrove are cleared to make way for the farms. Once operational, the farms may use large quantities of antibiotics and pesticides that often contaminate the surrounding forests. Farms can also obstruct the flow of rivers and streams, preventing them from mixing with seawater to provide the brackish water that mangroves need to thrive. In doing so, they provide a double whammy by stopping the farms’ pollutants from being washed away, increasing the ecological devastation while the shrimp and prawns are reared in a cocktail of chemicals, stale water and bacteria.”

To read more, kindly visit the webpage below:



About Mangrove Action Squad

Welcome to the Mangrove Action Squad (MAS) blog. The squad is very passionate about monitoring and conservation of mangroves of Singapore and we love to share our thoughts on the subject of mangroves.

Posted on October 29, 2011, in Mangrove News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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