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India: How Dams and Deforestation Are Affecting Mangroves and Fish Stocks by Raghu Murtugudde August 11,2017   |  Source: The Wire

The impact of dams on the diversity of fish is a telling example of the unintended consequences of human activity. It is also true that while aquaculture may complement the yield of fisheries, enhance food security and bring in income via exports, it exacerbates coastal vulnerability by decimating mangrove forests. When this is combined with other global warming impacts, it is apparent that India may be about to face a field of landmines – full of dammed-if-you-do and dammed-if-you-don’t scenarios – in managing its food-energy-water nexus.

Mangrove forests are widely quantified and documented by the rich habitats they provide for a large number of species, as well as by their role in carbon capture and as natural defences against storms and coastal erosion. Agriculture and aquaculture are among the major contributors to the loss of mangrove forests around the world, and India and Bangladesh are not immune.

Hydrological barriers

Building dams and other hydrological barriers also affect mangrove forests by choking off sediment loading, while increasing nutrient pollution. Some of the impacts of these barriers on fish diversity are set out in a recent study by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, a Bangalore-based research organisation. The

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2014)