Mangrove Friendly Aquaculture in the Philippines: How Friendly They Are?

The Ateneo Center for Asian Studies
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Mangrove Friendly Aquaculture in the Philippines:
How Friendly They Are?

By Andi Amri
Faculty of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Hasanuddin University


The coastal areas generally have a greater diversity of ecosystems associated with a complex array of natural resources that provide both economic good and services. Due to the population dynamic and global market pressures with large and multifarious human activities, the coastal resources and ecosystems have been treatened in an alarming rate. The deterioration of mangrove forests and their ecosystem are currently one of the most important and urgent environmental issues in coastal areas of Southeast Asia including the Philippines. Human settlement, expansion of agricultural or salt-making pans, development of coastal industries, and more recently, expansion of coastal aquaculture, have caused the damage of mangrove forests. The high rates of mangrove loss in the region over the last three decades have coincided with the shrimp farming development of the 1980s. To minimize and compromise the conflicts associated with coastal aquaculture development and its implication on mangrove disappearances, as well as to find out the most suitable and sustainable model for the harmonized integration, a form of mangrove-fishpond integration, was introduced. The Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (AQD-SEAFDEC), the Philippines has implemented Mangrove Friendly Aquaculture Program (Aquasilviculture) at Ibajay, Aklan. However, how friendly they are? This study observes the current condition and sustainability of Mangrove Friendly Aquaculture Program at Ibajay, Aklan and other sites in the Philippines from the white paper and fieldwork view points. To sustain the program for the long range periods, community participation is highly required, however, their economic expectations and benefits should be taken into consideration. Various best practises concerning stakeholder involvement, tangible and intangible benefits, property rights and sustainable management in regard with coastal resources governance are also discussed for comparative perspectives and insights.