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Sustainable shrimp production

Wetlands International works with businesses and the Government of Indonesia to introduce certification of sustainable shrimp farms. This work with the private sector supports the 'silvofishery concept' that combines the replanting of mangroves near and inside shrimp and fish ponds. This is a sustainable alternative for the rigid clearing of coastal mangrove forests for aquaculture.

Action Description:


An important element of our work on Mangroves is the promotion of a sustainable practice in shrimp farming through the 'silvofishery concept'. This concept combines the replanting of mangroves near and inside shrimp and fishponds.


The main driver of the loss of mangrove forests in the world is their conversion for aquaculture projects, particularly shrimp farms. It was estimated that by the year 2000, over 1.2 million ha of mangroves had been converted into aquaculture ponds in Southeast Asia alone (Kairo et al. 2001).


To worsen the situation, farm owners, as a general practice, abandon their shrimp ponds when they are too polluted (as the result of unsustainable use of fungicides, pesticides or antibiotics) for further production. These abandoned shrimp ponds unquestionably possess a threat to local populations’ health and make the coastal areas vulnerable to strong winds, tidal floods, salt water intrusion and abrasion.


To reverse and prevent the recurring of abandoned shrimp aquacultures, we advocate for the promotion of sustainable aquaculture production in key mangrove countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. Specifically, we promote the silvofishery and poly-aquaculture approaches which combine the replanting of mangroves near and inside shrimp and fishponds. These approaches not only reduce the vulnerability of coastal areas to strong winds, tidal floods, abrasion and salt water intrusion, but also enhance the biodiversity of the region. 

Action Partners:

Currently, in partnership with IUCN Netherlands, Oxfam Novib and local partners, we work towards certification of sustainable shrimp farms in Indonesia.