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Food Security

How water pollution affects shrimp farms

Publication date: 14-02-2024, Read time: 3 min

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. It is home to mangrove trees, which absorb more CO2 than any other ecosystem. Mangroves are home to other species, such as fish, insects and shrimps. 

The abundance of shrimp makes the Mekong Delta a key region for shrimp farming. This is one of Vietnam’s biggest industries, but high-intensity shrimp farming with unsustainable practices could endanger mangroves and the biodiversity they host.

Description of the topic / problem

High-intensity shrimp farms require high-intensity inputs for feeding. These take the form of shrimp feeding machines. These often have diesel engines, which require a lot of energy to function and elevate the risk of pollution in the water.

Additionally, massive shrimp-feeding is done by dumping excessive quantities of shrimp larvae in the water. This large volume of organisms increases the risk of disease outbreaks. 

Shrimp food is not the only thing that may contaminate the water. Some farms even release chemicals in the water that enhance shrimp growth. This risk of pollution, in addition to the waste disposal that is commonly observed in Vietnam, becomes a lethal combination for the ecosystem.

How can this problem be solved?

The Vietnamese government is developing a series of solutions to address these bad practices. One such solution is ecotourism. Ecotourists travel to endangered areas as a way to appreciate nature. This sustainable way of travelling improves the well-being of locals, not only through economic support by providing an extra source of income for farmers, but also by encouraging activities that help preserve and restore nature.

The Mekong region, with its unique and diverse mangrove ecosystem, shows a lot of promise for the ecotourism model. The aim is to collaborate with locals in mangrove preservation and restoration. 

Mangroves are a key element in preserving biodiversity. By reducing water pollution, we protect mangroves. By protecting mangroves, we protect the ecosystem.

What do we do at ITC?

The ITC Faculty conducted a tailor-made training in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, in collaboration with Aquaculture Solutions and Can Tho University, funded by NUFFIC as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. This programme aims to contribute to a society's sustainable and inclusive development by offering access to education and training to professionals and organizations. Read more here.

Food Security Water Resources
Last edited: 07-05-2024

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