Although surprising to most, 38% of global mangrove loss are associated with shrimp farming. How did that happen?

Situated in tidal areas, mangrove forests are naturally equipped with the conditions needed by shrimp larvae to survive and grow. Many shrimp farmers take advantage of this by removing mangroves and replacing them with shrimp ponds instead. Mangroves are natural barriers that shield villages and cities from storms and waves. Removing mangrove forests can not only destroy ecosystems but also render coastal communities vulnerable to incoming storm surges.

In May 2020, the super cyclone Amphan hit multiple south Asian countries, where mangroves have been replaced by shrimp ponds. In Bangladesh alone, Amphan has destroyed over 3,000 shrimp and crab ponds and caused a gigantic economic loss of over US $25,000,0002. As consumers, what could we do?

The best thing to do is to reduce or stop your shrimp consumption. But if it’s too hard to give up, it’s best to follow WWF-HK’s Seafood Guide to choose shrimp with less impact on the environment.

Alternatively, we can also choose shrimps certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), whose protocols make sure that the impact of the farming process is minimized.

Environmental Justice Foundation, 2006. Mangroves: Nature’s defence against Tsunamis. Available at: <>

Deccan Herald. 2020. ‘Everything is gone’: Cyclone Amphan destroys Bangladesh villages. Available at: < >


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