A review of mangrove and seagrass ecosystems and their linkage to fisheries and fisheries management


A review of mangrove and seagrass ecosystems and their linkage to fisheries and fisheries management

by P. Saenger, D. Gartside, and S. Funge-Smith

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 2013


Mangrove and seagrass ecosystems are widespread coastal and estuarine environments found in tropical and subtropical latitudes. These ecosystems provide habitat, shelter and food for numerous organisms, including some species that support important nearshore fisheries. Over the past 50 years, approximately 30 percent of global mangrove cover and 30 percent of seagrass areas have been lost. Much of this loss has occurred in the Asian region. These declines are cause for concern because mangroves and seagrasses have long been considered important habitats for coastal fisheries. This publication sets out to analyze the relationship between fisheries production and mangrove and seagrass habitats. Conclusions as well as recommendations for further study are included in the report.

Table of Contents

Elements of the conundrum
    The nursery area concept
    The single habitat approach
    The challenge
Mangroves as a structural fisheries habitat
    Mangrove habitat
    Fisheries values of mangrove habitats
    Factors underpinning mangrove habitat value
    Larval entrapment
Seagrasses as a structural fisheries habitat
    Definitions and limitations
    Fisheries values of seagrass meadows/beds
    Factors that underpin seagrass habitat value
The importance of mangroves in nearshore food webs
    The Florida mode
    Beyond the Florida model
    Internal cycling
    Mangrove outwelling: hydraulic and biotic export
The importance of seagrasses in nearshore food webs
Estuarine habitat connectivity
    The importance of variety and connectivity of habitats
    Importance of mangroves and seagrass for reef associated species
Loss of mangroves and seagrasses: causes and extent
Expansion of mangroves and seagrasses: causes and extent
    Expanding mangrove habitats through rehabilitation
    Ecosystem function in restored mangrove habitats
    Ecosystem function in rehabilitated seagrass habitats
Other means of enhancing existing habitat
    Retaining mangrove functionality
    Maximizing fishery benefits from fishing reserves/notake zones
Is there a link between fisheries production and changes in the extent of
    mangrove and seagrass habitat?

    Case studies which illustrate these points
Principal findings and conclusions
    Information needs
Bibliography and references

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ISBN 978-92-5-107773-3 (print)
E-ISBN 978-92-5-107774-0 (PDF)

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For copies write to:Simon Funge-Smith
Senior Fishery Officer
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2 697 4000
Fax: (+66) 2 697 4445
E-mail: RAP-Publications@fao.org