The Rakhine Coast, which borders the western sea of Myanmar, is the country’s largest fishery producer even though it is also an area prone to natural disasters each year. As the mangroves are important for the prevention of natural disasters and the development of marine species in the area, the Department of Forestry in Rakhine State has established mangrove forest reserves in protected areas, conserving more than 380,000 acres of mangroves.
Mangrove forest reserves are being protected by state-owned forests and community-owned forests, and the mangrove plantation starts annually in June to increase the conservation of the natural forest.
There are 381,036 acres of mangrove forest in Rakhine State, and six protected areas that cover 87,219 acres are state-owned.
A total of 125 acres of mangrove were planted in the Wan Bai area in Yanbye Island last year, according to U Aung Min,head of Rakhine State Forestry Department.
These mangroves are an essential ecosystem for marine life, as they provide a breeding ground for fish, shrimps and aquatic animals, as well as, encourage sediment deposits that reduce coastal erosion.
Destroying these mangroves can affect up to 50 per cent of fish and shrimp resource conservation, according to U Thet Oo, head of the Rakhine State Fisheries Department. He made a call for mangrove conservations as a national duty as it can control the global greenhouse problem, as well as prevents natural disaster and develops water resources.
In Rakhine State, where there are many fish and shrimp farms, these mangroves were cut down in the past for farming. Now, efforts are being made to make the mangroves more viable by implementing environmentally friendly systems. — Nyein Thu/GNLM