Mangroves are being restored and planted iirespective of whether they spread and convert shallo-water barrier-built estuaries to marsh where fish cannot exist. Is it necessary in developing countries to be more cautious to safeguard livelihoods?

Micro-tidal barrier built estuaries support millions fishery based livelihoods in developing countries. This is where individuals and organizations are indiscriminately planting mangroves – calling it restoration. The people who plant mangroves get paid up fron through various international sources. As the mangroves spread and convert shallow water to marsh, fishery habitat is lost. Segara Anakan, Indonesia is an example where major investment could not save the fisheries. What is the international thinking on the subject?



  1. 0 Votes

    You bring an interesting perspective to this topic. Mangroves are usually the ones replaced by fish farms – rather than the other way around. Before we jump into the Segara Anakan case, I’ll try to quickly share why so many people want to support recovering mangroves:

    Mangroves provide an important ecosystem that filters pollutants from waters heading out to sea. This actually helps fisheries because it keeps excess nutrients from accumulating near shore. The leaves that fall from their branches provide important nutrients to the fish below, and their sturdy roots also help to trap sediment and shelter these fish from storms. Numerous studies show that they protect coastal communities from severe wind and wave action from tropical storms. 

    I can see how a community could be negatively impacted by a changing landscape – and I imagine that in some areas, it’s been a while since there have actually been mangroves around. I also hope that these restoration projects are happening in places that actually used to have mangrove forests. Ultimately, though, I feel that these unique trees could benefit the community – they, too, house fish and mollusk species. And is it possible for the Segara Anakan community to fish beyond the mangrove swamp in the estuary? I am not familiar with the area, but perhaps the mangroves will help stimulate biological activity along that region’s coast.

    • 0 Votes

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