WRITTEN BY-Mark Huxham Professor of Teaching and Research in Environmental Biology at Edinburgh Napier University
Date posted- July 24 2015 on qz.com
The industry of farming of shellfish is dominated by the likes of China, Vietnam and Thailand.However a large number of other countries have invested heavily in cultivation too. One is Sri Lanka, which saw the industry as a passport to strong economic growth and widespread employment.The country saw an explosion of unregulated aquaculture on the island in the 1980s and 1990s, bringing riches to a few and the hope of riches or at least an income to many more.
But as a result of poor coastal management, thousands of hectares of the coastal region in the west of Sri Lanka once covered in lush mangrove forests now holds many abandoned ponds for cultivating tiger prawns. Also, an additional issue is the sinking shoreline. In the face of global rising sea levels of more than 3mm a year, healthy mangrove forests are among the best protection since they bind together sediments and even elevate their soils to match the rising tide. Lose them and the chances of coastal subsidence, erosion and storm damage goes up.