Making aquaculture mangrove-friendly

Mangrove fringed lagoon in the Philippines Copyright: Reefbase / John McManus

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Mangrove forests, the wooded ‘buffer zone’ where the sea meets the land in many places around the world, are threatened by unsustainable aquaculture, the farming of marine species in ponds.

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of mangroves — which are ecologically, economically and culturally significant — have been cleared since the 1980s to make way for aquaculture ponds.

Jurgenne Primavera, a Philippine researcher has spent much of her life fighting to restore the forests and promote sustainable ways of farming fish and shrimp.

In this article in Science, she describes her efforts to develop sustainable solutions that allow people to exploit mangrove ecosystems without destroying them.

Primavera has campaigned for the protection and restoration of mangrove forests, often in the face of opposition from both officials and fellow scientists.

She says it is important that scientists in developing countries disseminate their findings not only in peer-review journals but also to the general public through advocacy and the media. “We must not forget our hearts even as we apply our minds,” she concludes.

Link to full article in Science