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  • 03 January, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

SAIME Initiative in Sundarbans

SAIME Initiative in Sundarbans

  • A fresh shrimp farming effort in Sundarbans raises the prospect of mangrove regeneration.

What does SAIME stand for?

  • Farmers in West Bengal have started growing shrimp on 30 hectares as part of the Sustainable Aquaculture In Mangrove Ecosystem (SAIME) initiative.
  • Farmers are planting mangrove trees around the shrimp ponds. Earlier farmers had to buy shrimp feed, now the mangrove leaf litter provides nourishment for the crustaceans
  • NGOs like Naturland, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS), Global Nature Fund (GNF), and Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) are spearheading the community-based effort of sustainable shrimp cultivation, which was launched in 2019.
  • Shrimp farming and the mangrove ecology are intertwined, unlike the earlier fisheries cultivation which were expanded inward and the mangrove ecosystem was left out.
  • Farmers are cultivating indigenous varieties of shrimps such as black tiger shrimp (P. monodon) and giant freshwater prawn (M. rosenbergii ).
  • One of the main industries in the Sundarbans,( a complex system of rivers and low-lying islands that experience twice-daily tide surges,) is fishing, notably shrimp farming.
  • About 15,000 to 20,000 hectares of India's unique ecology are used for shrimp farming.

What is the Sundarbans Delta's Significance?

  • The Sundarbans, located on the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna River deltas on the Bay of Bengal, are home to the biggest mangrove forests in the world.
  • The mangrove ecosystem is a highly specialised environment that can be found in tropical and subtropical areas between the land and the sea.
  • Many animal species have their natural homes in the Sundarbans, where a huge number of species have been observed to feed, breed, and find shelter.
  • Numerous rare and endangered wildlife species, including the estuary crocodile, water monitor lizard, Gangetic dolphin, and olive ridley turtle, call this region home.
  • India has (40% ) and Bangladesh has (60%) of the area of the Sundarbans. In 1987 (India) and 1997 (Bangladesh), Sundarbans received the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
  • In January 2019, India's Sundarbans Wetland received Ramsar Convention recognition as a "Wetland of International Importance."

Source: The Hindu


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