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Vietnam - Mangrove Aquaculture to Be Supported by State-of-the-Art Environmental Monitoring

A new environmental monitoring initiative that aims to support shrimp and crab aquaculture in mangrove forests has officially been launched in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province.

Called AQUAM, it was launched last week by the Mekong Delta province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Australia’s University of Queensland and GreenField Consulting and Development Ltd (GFD).

The AU $500,600 (US $384,948) project aims to build an environmental monitoring system for mangrove aquaculture to improve the management of mangrove forests and the resilience of coastal communities in the face of climate change.

Advantages of mangrove aquaculture

Mangrove aquaculture systems provide multiple products and ecosystem services, such as support of fisheries, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, coastal protection and resilience to climate change. They are, however, heavily dependent on the influx of high quality natural tidal water. If tidal water is polluted, low in oxygen, infected or affected by salinity changes, due to heavy rains or drought, then this poses risks to both aquatic species and mangrove trees.

Therefore, monitoring of water quality is critical to support farmers' decision making on what species to culture and when to exchange water within aquaculture ponds. This is especially important in the Mekong Delta, where water pollution due to upstream agricultural production, intensive aquaculture, industrial production and domestic waste is becoming more severe.

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