Could Silvo-Aquaculture be the Answer?

By Raphael Yao Ahiakpe, Seawater Solutions Technical Projects Manager (Africa)

It is not uncommon to hear the prominent potential aquaculture holds in filling the protein gap created as a result of demands from increasing human population and decreasing catches from fisheries in most parts of the World. However, sustainability of conventional aquaculture operations remains a challenge, if not a conundrum.

At Seawater Solutions, sustainability is one of our hallmarks, and we thrive to achieve such. Our quest for sustainability in shrimp and fish production has given birth to the Silvo-aquaculture system designed to address both environmental and economic questions associated with conventional aquaculture. The system is currently being piloted by Seawater Solutions’ team in Ghana and will soon be replicated in other countries with Seawater Solutions’ presence.

While conventional aquaculture operations are usually labelled as destructive to the natural environment, with shrimp aquaculture been responsible for mangrove destruction in many tropical regions, the Silvo-aquaculture is a restorative, nature-based solution aquaculture concept that harnesses symbiotic benefits of mangroves, halophytes, shrimps and/or tilapia in an integrated culture system.

The core aim of this system is to enhance and optimise economic and ecological benefits of aqua-food production, using regenerative principles of silviculture (mangrove planting/restoration) and aquaculture to achieve sustainable benefits. The overall impact being diversified income sources, contribution to food security, promoting regenerative soils and combating climate change through mangrove plantations.

What is more interesting is that we use abandoned aquaculture sites and underutilised salinised soil areas and turn them into productive and environmentally friendly food production systems.

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