Retaining our mangrove greenbelt: Integrating mangroves and aquaculture
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Although multilateral agencies in Southeast Asia have long been promoting that mangroves, and other wetlands, are wastelands to be put into better use, such as conversion to ponds. However, there is a need for Mangrove Friendly Aquaculture (MFA) technology in the intertidal forest, or swamp, which does not require the clearing of trees. MFA may be defined on 2 levels: 1) silvofisheries or aquasilviculture, where the low density culture of crabs, shrimps and fish is integrated with mangroves; and, 2) mangrove filters where mangrove forests are used to absorb the excess nutrients in the effluents from high-density culture ponds. A review is made of MFA practices belonging to the first category. Discussion is on a country basis, moving from traditional systems in Indonesia, to the introduced technologies in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. It is hoped that this review will be of use to scientists, aquaculturists, policy makers and governmental/NGOs interested in making aquaculture more ecologically sound and socially responsible.