This collection of students' essays altogether form a comprehensive report aiming to present evidence on mangrove depletion, the role and responsibility of shrimp farming and shrimp consumption with regards to this issue, and the potential offered by policy instruments as well as alternative consumption patterns.
Since approximately the mid-2000’s, food production, and subsequently food consumption, have increasingly been designated as the main culprits for deforestation in the tropics. This has led to mounting attention from environmental NGOs, and from environmentally sensitive consumers. This mobilisation, however, tends to neglect a dramatic deforestation process: that of mangroves, i.e. forests which grow alongside tropical coasts. Deforestation of mangroves is occurring at an alarming pace of approximately 150,000 ha per year. however, it is much yet less targeted by campaigns and policy responses. Mangroves are of crucial importance for many ecological, social and economic reasons, from their uniqueness to their role in protecting coastal areas from storm surge. Aquaculture, and, singularly, shrimp farming, bears the largest responsibility in the mangrove deforestation process by far.
With this report, we hope to shed light on these yet overshadowed issues, and to bring shrimp consumption and mangroves onto the “embedded deforestation” agenda, and more generally to the biodiversity protection agenda.