• A fistful of shrimps

    The dispute between the future of mangroves and our increasing appetite for cheap seafood

Probably because they are not land, or maybe because they are not ocean, the vanishing of the mangrove forests has not received much public attention. The green belt contouring tropical coasts are the fastest disappearing forest ecosystems.Though hundreds of millions of people live close by, and depend on the resources and the natural safety belt provided by mangrove forests, this dramatic loss has seldom captured the attention of the media.

The loss of mangrove forests is largely driven by increasing aquaculture farming. Western countries at higher latitudes hold a responsibility in this process. In other words, our appetite for inexpensive shrimps and seafood has led the path to mangrove deforestation.

Mangrove forests loss make coastal communities more vulnerable to erosion, high tides, hurricanes, water contamination. On a larger scale, because of the accumulation of carbon over millennia mangrove ecosystems are the second largest terrestrial carbon pool on Earth after peatlands - mangroves conservation is an effective climate change mitigation strategy. No matter if you live nearby mangroves or thousands kilometers away, their fate will have an impact on your future.

Now, solutions could come from the vulnerables - fishermen communities from Java and Sumatra. We are reporting about communities that are exploring novel ways to sustainably farming seafood and preserving the mangrove ecosystems. Their stories will unveil the beauty of mangrove forests and their invaluable services in building resilient societies.

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Project information

  • Locations
    Indonesia, Netherlands, Italy
  • Duration
    6 months
  • Release date
    December 2016
  • Budget
    € 18470
  • Round