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Aquaculture and Mangroves
The mangrove tree is found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. They grow in coastal areas and the unique structure of their roots and branches provide a habitat for a diverse group of aquatic animals, birds and mammals. From an ecosystem perspective, mangrove forests (along with tropical rain forests) perform the important job of combatting climate change by removing excess carbon from the atmosphere. Traditionally, the biodiversity of animals found in mangrove forests has also been a source of food for humankind and the wood has been harvested for cooking and building shelters.
But in the last few decades, the positive contribution of mangrove forests to nature and humankind has been in jeopardy. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2005 over 3 million hectare of mangrove forests were lost. That is a land mass equivalent to the entire country of Belgium. A recent study by 'Global Mangrove Watch' concludes aquaculture was the primary activity responsible for mangrove destruction. The study dates are from 1996 to 2010.
GGN Certified Aquaculture recognizes the important role of mangroves and supports the protection as well as the rehabilitation of the mangrove forest. In fact, GLOBALG.A.P. certified Aquaculture standards are so strict, any aquaculture farms established between the 1999 Ramsar Convention and 2008, which are in mangrove protected areas must be retired and the land rehabilitated. Furthermore, farms established after 2008 must demonstrate that they are not part of a mangrove ecosystem area.
To learn more about the Ramsar Convention visit: www.ramsar.org