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Mangrove is a particular tree that grows in intertidal regions of tropical and subtropical coastlines. There are 69 different species of mangroves around the world, and they are plant formations that have adopted unique strategies to adapt to extreme territorial conditions such as salinity and insolation.[1]

They are among the planet’s best carbon stores. Carbon fixed by mangroves (blue carbon) would help sequester anthropogenic CO2 emissions and subsequently slow rapid climate change.[2]

The ecosystem hosts a variety of species, including 174 species of marine megafauna. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge (especially during hurricanes), and tsunamis.[3]

[1] FAO:

[2] The Royal Society:

[3] Global Mangrove Alliance:

The Problem and Consequences.

Adequate data is only available for about half of the global area of mangroves. However, of those areas for which data has been collected, the last 20 years have lost 35% of the mangrove formations. The United Nations Environment Program and Hamilton (2013), estimate that shrimp farming causes approximately a quarter of the destruction of mangrove forests. 10-25% of mangrove-dependent species are on the IUCN red list. Shrimp farming, salinization, dams, urbanization are the causes of their decline.[4] The disappearance of mangroves greatly increases coastal vulnerability to sea rise and tsunami danger, but also to the loss of coastal biodiversity. Mangroves offer significant value for local populations acting as a means of storm protection and playing an important role in the pristine functioning of the ecosystem. Furthermore, climate change with less rainfall also has a negative impact on mangrove growth and salinity, which concentration increases.[5]

[4] IUCN Mangroves:

[5] Scientific Report (2018):

WSO Friend of the Sea initiatives and conservation projects

Friend of the Sea has launched a petition to request governments to make it mandatory for traded, imported, sold shrimp to have a Mangrove Safe or equivalent verifiable certification, confirming that the shrimp was not farmed in aquaculture sites which are destroying mangroves forest. Once the petition will reach enough signatures, the request will be sent to all relevant governments. Feedbacks and achievements will be provided with updates here on 

Friend of the Sea also certifies only shrimps farmed in sites which have not impacted mangroves’ forests.

Our main goal is to help projects committed to mangrove conservation and take part in their strategic actions through funds and our green certifications.

Call to action

  • Choose only Friend of the Sea certified shrimps and prawns to save mangroves.
  • Sign Friend of the Sea petition to make it mandatory for shrimps to be verified Mangrove Safe.
  • Contribute to Mangroves reforesting initiatives making donations.

Online Petition

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