Mangrove Restoration of Abandoned Shrimp Farms

Mangrove Restoration of Abandoned Shrimp Farms

Area Estimates

It is estimated that there are over 250,000 ha (617,500 acres) of abandoned shrimp ponds found in the mangrove forest zones of Asia and Latin America.
Robin Lewis derived the estimate from personal on-site visits and examination of both vertical aerial photography and satellite photography for Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and adjacent mainland China, India, and Costa Rica.
The estimate is a very conservative figure, as 2 published papers report a total of 248,232 ha of abandoned shrimp aquaculture ponds without including estimates for Central and South America:


1. Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation,” W. J. Streever (Ed.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.
A total of 119,812 ha of abandoned ponds were reported in Thailand and the Philippines only (pages 278-280).
>> Download pdf (1.8 MB)
2. Lewis, R.R. III, M.J. Phillips, B. Clough and D.J. Macintosh. 2003. Thematic Review on Coastal Wetland Habitats and Shrimp Aquaculture. Report prepared under the World Bank, NACA, WWF and FAO Consortium Program on Shrimp Farming and the Environment. Published by the Consortium. 81 pp. (Contains 13 case studies as Annexes 1-13)
>> Download pdf (1.6 MB)
Case Study 10: Rehabilitation and management of shrimp ponds constructed in acid sulphate soils by J. Sammut and A. Hanafi (2002), reports in Table 1, p. 63, that there were 128,420 ha of abandoned shrimp aquaculture ponds in Indonesia.
>> Download Case Study 10 pdf (2.04 MB)
Adding these two subtotals together gives 248,232 ha.

Up-to-date Estimates Lacking

These numbers are 5-10 years old, and exclude accurate estimates for such countries as Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as all of Central and South America.
250,000 ha is therefore a conservative estimate for circa 2000.
As of 2007, estimates would be at least 2x that amount, or 500,000 ha.
MAP is aware of no further estimates of the area of abandoned ponds constructed in former mangroves, but if anyone comes across some numbers, please let us know.

Support Restoration of Abandoned Shrimp Ponds

MAP is demonstrating hydrological restoration, through the MAP EMR Method, as an alternative model for returning shrimp ponds to healthy mangrove forests and promotes the adoption of the MAP EMR Method as public policy by governments and NGOs alike.