Rehabilitation of coastal wetland forests degraded through their conversion to shrimp farmsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
International demand for shrimp has stimulated large-scale conversion of mangrove and other coastal wetlands into brackish water aquaculture ponds. Poor site selection, coupled with poor management and over-intensive development of individual sites, has led to nonsustainable production and often, wholesale abandonment of ponds. This has been followed by further conversion of wetlands in an attempt to maintain aquaculture production, incomes, and employment.This has also often proved nonsustainable. The net result is that extensive areas of formerly biologically rich and productive wetland forest are lying idle. In limited cases, natural regeneration of wetlands is taking place, and there are sporadic attempts to stimulate regeneration. However, the drive to convert further wetlands is far greater than efforts at rehabilitation. The development of alternative, sustainable uses of former wetland forests is examined as a means of reducing the pressures to convert further areas of wetland forest.