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Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming Systems

Submitted by Dirk Rolker 4th April 2013 13:38

Coastal zones in Tamil Nadu are important habitats for biodiversity and provide a livelihood for thousands of artisanal fishermen and -women. Communities here are feeling the effects of climate change. With erratic rainfall and summer temperatures rising, the number of crops grown annually has diminished, so that incomes are no longer stable. Storm surges occur more frequently, and rises in sea level will further affect coastal zones: the resulting salinization of land and ground water will exacerbate the situation in the near future. These factors, together with overexploitation of resources and coastal erosion, are leading to lower agricultural yields and lower incomes in many areas. People have had to migrate to other villages or urban areas or to borrow from money lenders at unfavourable rates.

The project responds to this crucial situation by establishing 'integrated mangrove fishery farming systems'. The idea is to convert saline areas that cannot be used for aquaculture or other livelihoods into productive land once more. Saline tolerant plants, including mangroves, can be planted on some of the land, and commercially significant brackish-water fish can be farmed in other areas. In this way integrated mangrove fishery farming can generate income immediately yet sustainably. In the long run, mangroves also provide protection against cyclones and storm surges.

Implementation

The project is a joint undertaking of the project Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Areas of India (CCA RAI) and the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).

CCA RAI is jointly implemented by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and the German development organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.