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Restoring abandoned shrimp ponds in Indonesia

Abandoned shrimp ponds in Java, Indonesia are a threat to local populations’ health and make the coastal areas vulnerable to strong winds, tidal floods, salt water intrusion and abrasion. In Banten Bay and Pemalang we show how practical fighting poverty and improving family income can go hand in hand with restoring degraded wetlands, such as these abandoned shrimp ponds. Our approach has strongly improved the food security and health of the communities we worked with.

Action Description:

Our silvofisheries approach


The silvofishery approach combines mangrove planting with diversified aquaculture. This means that surrounding the shrimp ponds mangroves are planted, providing a more natural habitat, which in return also attacts wild shrimp to come into the pond. The species diversification leads to a more varied income. Furthermore, the mangroves provide a barrier for coastal protection and a habitat for other animal species. Click on the picture to download


Biogrights: microfinance & environment

The Bio-Rights microfinance for environmental services is implemented in the two sites. Through the bio-Rights, abandoned shrimp rehabilitation and livelihood activities run complementary. A revolving fund provides group members the opportunity to run economic activities for income generation. As a consequence, beneficiaries are obligated to plant and nurture certain amount of trees in pond area. 

The financial support is used by group members as working capital to run the “silvofishery practice”. In Pemalang, the group grew milkfish and seaweed (as main commodity) and planted mangrove in the same pond. 

In Banten Bay, this generated an average additional $60 income per capita per month, which is a huge increase in income for people in these poor coastal areas. 

Replanting activities

In the two areas, we have already successfully planted 86,600 seedlings divided into 75,400 mangrove seedlings and 5,200 beach plants. This has even surpassed the targeted value of 74,000 seedlings. Based on monitoring, the survival rate of planting mangrove is very high, ranging from 70%-98%.

Trap wild shrimp

By using traditional devices (locally known as Bubu) and applying simple techniques, pond farmers regularly manage to trap wild shrimp from their pond. It has significantly provided them additional income


Working with the government

We suport the Indonesian Government at different levels. For example, we provide knowledge and guidance on mangroves and their role in climate change adaptation and mitigation at provincial or district levels (central Java and Serang), and support the establishment of districts or provincials’ task forces on these issues. Furthermore, we developed a regulation on the Bio-rights approach for the Pemalang District Government. This regulation is now endorsed and is replicated it in neighbouring villages.

Action Partners:

Partnership at district level:

Government sector: Fishery and Forestry agencies, Public Works agency, Districts’ Planning and Development Board /Bappeda.

Universities: including Agriculture Institute / Instiper in Pemalang.and Bogor Agriculture Institute in Bogor. 

NGOs/CBOs : Yayasan Mitra Bahari in Pemalang and Pulau Dua nature lovers (Pecinta Alam Pesisir Pulau Dua) in Banten bay. 

Private sectors: coastal cooperatives enterprises that are currently very active operating within the areas, including the women cooperative group (Koperasi Wanita Bunga Melati), fishers’ cooperatives groups (such as Koperasi Perikanan Darat, Koperasi Cemoro Songo, Mina Mulyo and Mitra Jaya). This private sector will engage through the provision of small grants to restore coastal areas surrounding their activities and this grant can be used to leverage their business activities. This sector will also contribute to the adoption of ABP and Green belt concepts.



Partnership at national level:

The Ministry of Fishery and Marine Affairs/MFMA, The Consortiums of Marine Partners (Mitra Bahari) Programme; Ministry of Forestry, National Development and Planning Board/Bappenas, Ministry of the Environment, Meteorology-Climate-Geo Physics Instute, Bogor Agriculture University /IPB, WWF-Indonesia.

More Action Details