Mangroves have been greatly affected by the increase of shrimp farming over the last 30 years.
Their destruction led to a decrease in coastal protection, food resources for local communities and carbon storage.
However, new approaches were initiated to both maintain productivity and preserve coastal ecosystems,
such as closed recirculating systems or integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems.
A change in practices could allow the preservation of healthy coastal ecosystems to become a very real possibility.
Thus, who is ready to get involved?
How is shrimp farming
impacting mangrove ecosystems
in the Indo-Pacific?
The Indo-Pacific provides nearly half of the world’s shrimp production
and their production has been increasing by 42% a year since 1984 (FAO data).
This increase has contributed to one third of the 2% loss of Southeast Asian mangroves between 2000 and 2012,
with an average loss of 9 535 ha per year (Richard and Friess, 2016). It has resulted in massive releases of
nutrients in the environment and a widespread use of antibiotics to avoid diseases and maintain productivity.
This selective review focuses on the impact of shrimp farming on Indo-Pacific coastlines.
Frank David / email@example.com
Pierre Taillardat, Cyril Marchand, Nathalie Molnar and Tarik Meziane
Unité Mixte de Recherche « Biologie des ORganismes et Écosystèmes Aquatiques » (BOREA, UMR 7208)
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, IRD ; 61 rue Buffon, CP53 ; 75005 Paris, France
loss of carbon stocks
In 2016, Richard & Friess studied mangrove deforestation
in Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2012.
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) were quantified
at a relatively fine resolution (deforested patches > 0.5 ha)
using remote sensing method on satellite imagery.
Results and discussion
More than 100 000 ha of mangroves have been lost in
Southeast Asia since 2000.Aquaculture has replaced
30%of lost mangroves, mostly in Indonesia and the
Philippines. This land conversion is similar to what
happened during the 1980’s and the 1990’s in Thailand
and Vietnam, the two countries that initiated intensive
shrimp production in this area.
References: Richards, D.R., Friess, D.A., 2016. Rates and drivers of mangrove
deforestation in Southeast Asia, 2000–2012. Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences 113, 344–349.
Release of antibiotics
and change in soil properties
In 2004,Le & Munekage measured the concentration of four
antibiotics in water and mud from shrimp ponds and adjacent
ecosystems of Vietnam.
Antibiotics were quantified using high pressure liquid
Results and discussion
High concentrations of antibiotics were detected in both ponds and
adjacent ecosystems.In experimental conditions, exposure to
0.25 ppm of the antibiotic sulfametoxazole (SMX) in water reduced
nitrate reduction rate potentials and inhibited by 50% the growth of
bacteria Pseudomonas putida, involved in organic matter
decomposition (Underwood et al.2011; Al-Ahmad et al.1999). This
level of exposure was more than 100 times higher in sediments,
leading to suspected highly detrimental effects on bacterial
communities and their associated functions, such as denitrification
or the degradation of organic compounds.
References: Le, T.X., Munekage, Y., 2004. Residues of selected antibiotics in water and mud
from shrimp ponds in mangrove areas in Viet Nam. Marine Pollution Bulletin 49,922–929.
Al-Ahmad, A., Daschner, F.D., Kümmerer, K., 1999. Biodegradability of cefotiam, ciprofloxacin,
meropenem, penicillin G, and sulfamethoxazole and inhibition of waste water bacteria. Archives of
environmental contamination and toxicology 37,158–163.
Underwood, J.C., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Repert, D.A., Baumgartner, L.K., Smith, R.L., Roane, T.M.,
Barber, L.B., 2011. Effects of the Antimicrobial Sulfamethoxazole on Groundwater Bacterial Enrichment.
Environmental Science & Technology 45,3096–3101.
Average concentration of antibiotics in:
(a) water samples from surrounding canals by location and
(b) mud samples from surrounding canals by location
Average concentration of antibiotics in water samples from:
(a) intensive ponds by location and
(b) improved extensive ponds by location
Eutrophication and change
in community structure
In 2015, Aschenbroich et al.analyzed the fatty acid (FA)
composition of sediments in a mangrove receiving shrimp farm
effluents on the west coast of New Caledonia.
Fatty acids were quantified using gas chromatography (GC) and
identified with mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
Results and discussion
It is likely that FA 18:1ω9 originated from FA 18:2ω6, which is to
be found in great quantities both in ponds and shrimp food
pellets. Higher microbial activity during active period was
supported by the higher abundance of bacterial biomarkers, such
as 18:1ω7and odd-chained branched FAs. Moreover, changes
in microphytobentic community composition were observed
through differences in abundance of FA 18:3ω6and 20:3ω6,
implying a possible shift in the ecosystem food chain balance.
References: Aschenbroich, A., Marchand, C., Molnar, N., Deborde, J., Hubas, C.,
Rybarczyk, H., Meziane, T., 2015. Spatio-temporal variations in the composition of organic
matter in surface sediments of a mangrove receiving shrimp farm effluents (New
Caledonia). Science of The Total Environment 512,296–307.
Concentration of selected fatty acids in surface sediments of
mangrove receiving shrimp farm effluents
(arrows represent effluent inputs from ponds)
FA 18:1ω9 (μg.g-1)
∑ FA 18:1ω7
+ 15:0 iso-anteiso
+ 17:0 iso-anteiso (μg.g-1)∑FA 18:3ω6 + 20:3 ω6