Blue carbon, fisheries and aquaculture

The EX-ACT manual for blue carbon, fisheries and aquaculture management project

Mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are three carbon-rich natural habitats, collectively referred to as ‘blue carbon ecosystems’. Blue carbon is defined as the “carbon stored, sequestered or released from coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows” (Herr et al., 2012). These ecosystems are highly efficient at sequestering and storing carbon in their soil, whilst also providing a wide range of ecosystems services. As such, blue carbon ecosystems are extremely important for conservation and climate change mitigation.

Blue carbon activities refer to a suite of sustainable planning, management and policy activities in coastal wetlands to reduce GHG emissions from conversion and degradation and to conserve and sustainably manage coastal carbon sinks” (Herr, 2012). 

Guidance and methodology for reporting GHG balances in managed coastal wetlands are provided in the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for Wetlands supplement of the National Greenhouse Gas inventories: Wetlands (IPCC, 2013; Kennedy et al., 2014).

 Fisheries and aquaculture contribute to global GHG emissions during capture, fish-farming, processing, transportation and storage. EX-ACT identifies the primary emitters of GHGs and estimates the quantity of GHG emissions of management activities in the two sectors.

This page provides the new guidelines for blue carbon, fishery and aquaculture projects as developed by the EX-ACT team. The manual explain how to use the EX-Ante Carbon-balance Tool to estimate the impacts of management activities in coastal wetlands, aquaculture and fisheries on the GHG balance of a project.

The EX-ACT team analyzed case studies of investment projects and programs in coastal wetlands, fisheries and aquaculture. The focus was on climate change adaptation in low land areas, aquaculture development, conservation and sustainable management of critical coastal wetlands, fishery development projects and water resources development projects. Analyzed projects are presented here to demonstrate the full analysis process in real projects, starting from raw data and finishing with attaining the final carbon-balance.


Blue Carbon guidelines



Case studies

  • Eritrea: Fisheries development project (on demand)
  • Gabon: Sustainable management of critical wetlands
  • India: Mangrove restoration (on demand)
  • Mozambique: Aquaculture development (on demand)
  • Vietnam: Adaptation to salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta
  • Vietnam: Water resources development (on demand)
  • Vietnam: Fisheries management and seagrass restoration (on demand)
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka post-tsunami programme (on demand)