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Mangrove Day Calls for Action on Shrimp Farms

29 July 2009

PAKISTAN - Fishermen activists advocating for the rights of marine communities around the globe have been concerned about the loss of mangroves that serve as home for a diverse range plant and animal life.

Mangroves are also a source of income for local communities, and prevent soil erosion and protect the coast from storms, reports TheNews.

According to the report, this year's International Day of Mangroves theme calls for global action against the shrimp farming industry and demands the conservation of precious mangrove areas. This worldwide move may mark the beginning of a stronger international network of small-scale fishermen.

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has designed different activities to express solidarity with the world fishing communities in this regard. PFF Chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah is opposed to the government’s plan to promote aquaculture which, he believes, will be disastrous for a community that is completely dependent on fishing, says TheNews.

Shah said that the entire world has learnt a lesson from the colossal damage to the environment and the effects on fish catch owing to the destruction of mangroves. The latter are breeding grounds for shrimp and other commercial fish species. The destruction of mangroves means these communities lose their only source of income, he added.

Thirty per cent of the shrimp and prawns produced worldwide come from the mangroves. Activists believe that the greatest threat to mangroves worldwide is shrimp farming — about 35 per cent of mangroves around the world have been destroyed in the last 20 years. In Pakistan, mangrove forests have been reduced to only 73,000 hectares from 600,000 hectares (marked 20 years back). In fact, aquaculture is not promoted on a large scale here but the government functionaries have made plans, which, unfortunately, did not bear favourable results.

TheFishSite News Desk



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