Farmed shrimp production and value continue to increase with Asia producing the global majority of shrimp and the USA, Japan and Europe being the main importers. Shrimp farming systems are very diverse in their management, size and impacts. There are many causes for mangrove loss but the conversion of mangroves to shrimp farms has caused considerable attention. The major issues of shrimp farming include the loss of important ecological and socio-economic functions of mangrove ecosystems, changes in hydrology, salinization, introduction of non-native species and diseases, pollution from effluents, chemicals and medicines, use of wild fish for feed, capture of wild shrimp seed and loss of livelihoods and social conflicts. Global awareness about the need to reduce the impacts of shrimp farming and the importance of sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems has led to a number of guidelines being published. Policy to position shrimp farms behind mangroves can be effective but also requires good institutional capacity and coordination, effective enforcement, incentives, land tenure and participation of all stakeholders for success. Better management practices have been identified which reduce impacts, increase efficiency and profits. Community-based management using partnerships, stewardships or multilateral cooperation schemes, together with integrated, mixed or mangrove-friendly aquaculture practices and mangrove rehabilitation should also be promoted. Introduction of certification schemes may further ensure environmental sustainability, social equity and food safety of aquaculture products that can benefit both the local communities and the consumer. Further inclusion of local communities and raising awareness with the consumer is required.
Journal review article
Cab Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 2008, Vol 3