Mangroves as Fish Habitat

The Current State of Knowledge on Mangrove Fishery Values

James Hutchison, Philine zu Ermgassen, and Mark Spalding

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874424.ch1

Abstract.—Mangroves are widely understood to be important habitats for fisheries, supporting resident fish, crustacean, and mollusk populations as well as acting as nursery grounds for species that are targeted by offshore fisheries. There is, however, a lack of quantitative data on fisheries that operate in and around mangroves. We carried out a systematic search to gather data on mangrove fisheries from the scientific literature. We filtered the 4,358 studies returned by the search based on their title and abstract and extracted data from 169 of these. Despite the abundance of literature on mangrove fisheries, we were unable to build a data set of comparable, quantitative data of sufficient size to support numerical modeling approaches. In part, this is due to the variety of mangrove fisheries, which range from small-scale subsistence fishing for mollusks and crabs to large-scale industrialized prawn trawling. This is compounded by the broad range of reporting methods and metrics encountered in the literature. We make a number of recommendations to guide the future reporting of mangrove fisheries to allow for better quantification and comparison of fisheries values at large spatial scales.