Communities along the Mekong Delta coast are coming together to create and experiment with new silvo-aquaculture techniques to reduce the risk of fisheries collapse and diversify incomes.
Fisheries along the Mekong Delta coast suffer from frequent calamities due to the fragility of monoculture techniques. Therefore, fishers are partnering with the Bac Lieu Experimental Station for Aquaculture to test, implement, and share ecological aquaculture techniques. In particular, silvo-aquaculture, or the inclusion of mangroves in fisheries, is increasingly being practiced. An important element of the initiative is the establishment of Farmer Interest Groups that allow for collaborative experimentation and learning as well as economic support for investment and financial hardship recovery. Through these Farmer Interest Groups, silvo-aquaculture methods have been improved over time by testing various species compositions, stock densities, water management, nursing, and conservation systems.
Although no mitigation outcomes were reported, it is likely that avoided deforestation and better management of mangroves will contribute to the carbon sequestration potential of the area on a small scale.
According to post-intervention assessments, silvo-aquaculture ponds have been reported to display greater resilience in the face of extreme events compared to the mono-culture ponds used prior.
Project activities are reported to have increase forest cover in the area likely supporting the recovery of wildlife habitats.
Farmers that implemented the various ecological farming techniques have reported diversified and more stable incomes. The reported survival rate of shrimp has increased by 45% likely boosting income and food security.