A new initiative of sustainable shrimp cultivation provides hope for mangrove restoration in the Sundarbans.

 

What is the issue?

  • For several years, environmentalists and experts have expressed concern over unsustainable aquaculture, particularly shrimp collection, after cleaning large tracts of mangrove forests in the Sundarbans.
  • A research programme on the contribution of mangrove leaf litter in the nutritional dynamics in SAIME ponds has been initiated in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Blue Economy (CoE-BE) of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata.

 

About the SAIME initiative

  • Under the initiative, Sustainable Aquaculture In Mangrove Ecosystem (SAIME), farmers have taken up cultivation of shrimp on 20 hectares at Chaital in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, and 10 hectares at Madhabpur in adjoining South 24 Parganas. However, they are doing their part in restoring the mangroves as well.
  • The community-based initiative of sustainable shrimp cultivation is being conceived by NEWS and Global Nature Fund (GNF), Naturland Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS).
  • The initiative which started in 2019 has established a collaborative ecosystem integrating several key stakeholders from government departments, academia, and research institutes for co-creation and comprehensive advancement of this project.