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Mangrove Forests as a Solution to Create Climate-Resilient Fisheries on Marine Coastal Ecosystems

M. Rabbani Byan

The ocean has long been known as one of humanity’s most important natural resources and for its various purposes especially fulfilling food needs. The key element that leads and sustains the goods of the ocean is the balance of its ecosystem, known as the marine ecosystem. Marine ecosystems are biological networks in which the success of species is linked indirectly and directly through various biological interactions. However, climate change is having significant and different results on marine ecosystems. Rising barometrical carbon dioxide (CO2) and acidifying ocean are some of the most common issues, its impacts are all inescapable on marine ecology. A study by Mason et al (2021) stated that The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has documented some “extraordinary changes" across marine ecosystems and it is certain that the sea will proceed to respond to climate change with pervasive changes on territorial and worldwide scales, but more specifically towards archipelagic-developing countries.

Indonesia is one of those archipelagic-developing countries, with 81.000 km coastline, Indonesia is one of the biggest archipelago countries in the world, the majority of Indonesia's population rely on its marine coastal ecosystem which is a part of a marine ecosystem where the land meets the ocean. They rely on coastal elements such as sea wave tides, seasonal changes, flora, and fauna as the livelihoods of their communities. According to Utina et al (2018), marine coastal ecosystems have three interconnected ecosystems that help in ecological and economic potential in supporting the fisheries sector; those ecosystems are mangrove areas, seagrass, and coral reef ecosystems. However, those ecosystems are also prone to disturbance due to climate change, but one of the solutions towards combating climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and to still fulfill its food needs is “Climate- Resilience Fishing”. Climate Resilience Fishing is about the solutions on how to cope with the impacts of climate change towards the marine ecosystem and to still meet Indonesia's food demand sustainably. There are solutions that can be implemented in this case, one of the nature-based solutions suits our country perfectly is Afforestation and Reforestation of mangrove forests. Afforestation and reforestation are some act or process of establishing a green area or forest that is or not previously forested. Those acts can lead to significant economic and ecological benefits, such as : development of woody biomass as a potentially renewable source of energy; improving ecological function (clean water, clean air and increasing carbon storage); and additional habitat for biodiversity that can be used for aquaculture (Halldorsson, 2008).

Mangrove forests is a vegetation with some species of shrubs and woods that grew in the intertidal zone of tropical and subtropical coasts. Mangroves are very adaptive and they have a role in regulating the environment such as filtering of the pollutants and the stabilization of coastal areas by catching sediments, they also have the potential to absorb more carbon than other plants because of its bushy leaves, moreover the mangrove habitat that grows on peat soils allows for greater carbon storage than others above the surface. Mangroves also provide security against storm harm and if the rate of sediment accumulation can keep up with sea level rise, mangroves too can expand their range despite sea level rise (McLeod & Salm, 2006). 

Source : Md Isa & Suratman (2021)

Research by Md Isa & Suratman (2021) stated that from the total of about 48 species of mangrove occur in Indonesia, which is the most diverse of Southeast-Asia, therefore Indonesia has the best potential on using mangrove forests as a solution towards climate change. Not only that it is great for the environment, the mangrove ecosystem also provides foods such as crustaceans as well as molluscs that live in its ecosystem that serves as protein sources along with fishes. Research conducted by Fadhila et al (2015) in Kendal regency, Central Java, stated that the massive economic impact that the civilians have benefited from mangrove forest is approximately around 337 million rupiah per year, this number mainly comes from the aquaculture such as mollusc, shrimp, milk-fish, crab and gray mullet fish, these resources supports the local communities protein needs and

also can be profited to areas nearby.

Rising sea levels and weather abnormalities due to climate change causes many sea fishers to change their profession to become coastal-fishers whereas they create an interim solution for the problem, most of them create numerous embankments on the coastlines. Following the preceding study by Fadhila et al (2015) it is stated that in Kendal regency, there is a significant loss of mangrove forests area around 10 ha of mangrove forests in a year, from 86.97 ha to 77.15 ha. Those areas were converted to embankments and industrial areas. The main problem is that most areas where the embankments have been made were once mangrove forests by local fishers. Contrary on how they approach the matter, Ichdayati (2013) stated that, businesses evolving ponds or embankments along the coasts are highly dependent on environmental factors such as the water quality of the aquaculture media waters, water pollution, epidemic disease attacks and efforts to improve technical efficiency become less effective if environmental factors are ignored in the pond production process.

Source : Danny Darmansyah Saragih

A study by Fadhila et al (2015) stated that in 2014 the numbers of aquaculture decreased along with the decreasing area of its mangrove forest area. The declining numbers of mangrove forests which in turn can disrupt the aquatic ecosystem of the surrounding area, also the level of biodiversity for their food source have decreased as well, and if it’s not solved, it will worsen due to climate change.  The mangrove ecosystem has benefits and a very important function as an economic and ecological resource, hence it could be one of the best solution to create more climate resilient fisheries, hence the existence of mangrove forests must be maintained and enhanced as development assets for its various purposes and economical value, both by the local community and the government, and additional education about marine coastal ecosystems and how to maintain a healthy one are needed to guide the local communities.


Fadhila, H., Saputra, S.W. and Wijayanto, D., 2015. Nilai manfaat ekonomi ekosistem mangrove di desa kartika jaya kecamatan patebon kabupaten kendal jawa tengah. Management of Aquatic Resources Journal (MAQUARES), 4(3), pp.180-187.

Halldorsson, G. ed., 2008. AFFORNORD: Effects of afforestation on ecosystems, landscape and rural development. Nordic Council of Ministers.

Ichdayati, L.I., Hartoyo, S., Syaukat, Y. and Kuntjoro, S.U., 2013. Pengaruh polutan tambak terhadap efisiensi teknis produksi bandeng di Kabupaten Karawang. Jurnal Agribisnis Indonesia (Journal of Indonesian Agribusiness), 1(2), pp.107-124.

Mason, J.G., Eurich, J.G., Lau, J.D., Battista, W., Free, C.M., Mills, K.E., Tokunaga, K., Zhao, L.Z., Dickey‐Collas, M., Valle, M. and Pecl, G.T., 2022. Attributes of climate resilience in fisheries: From theory to practice. Fish and Fisheries, 23(3), pp.522-544. McLeod, E. and Salm, R.V., 2006. Managing mangroves for resilience to climate change (Vol. 64). Gland: World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Md Isa, N.N. and Suratman, M.N., 2021. Structure and Diversity of Plants in Mangrove Ecosystems. Mangroves: Ecology, Biodiversity and Management, pp.361-369. Utina, R., Nusantari, E.M., Katili, A.S. and Tamu, Y., 2018. Ekosistem dan Sumber Daya Alam Pesisir Penerapan Pendidikan Karakter Konservasi. Yogyakarta: Deepublish

Mongabay News, 2023 Indonesia’s mangrove restoration bid holds huge promise, but obstacles abound (Accessed : 13 December 2023)

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