Rachel Gruzen

Rachel Gruzen

Shrimp aquaculture may be a tool for economic and social development but only if matched with a strong framework to guide it toward environmental and social sustainability.

2005 Urban Fellow

Research Topic: Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife

Faculty Advisor: Gaboury Benoit

Shrimp Aquaculture and Urban Growth in Madagascar: Sustaining Societies and Conserving Coasts?

Faced with the crisis of overfished seas, many fisheries companies and entrepreneurs are looking to aquaculture to supply seafood to the ever-increasing demand of the world’s population. Madagascar is one east African country that has the biodiverse, pristine mangrove shorelines ideal for shrimp aquaculture. Production ponds and accompanying infrastructure are being placed in remote landscapes, drawing immigration to new towns that have more wealth than otherwise found in the region. Some if not all of the aquaculture companies in Madagascar consider the welfare of their business dependent upon the social health of their employees and these new and fast-growing towns. What effort in the areas of community development programming, town planning, partnership-building, and international and domestic policy frameworks, are guiding Madagascar toward a shrimp aquaculture practice that can be considered sustainable with respect to reducing the environmental footprint, sustaining domestic economies into the long term and providing local populations with poverty-alleviation opportunities that don’t compromise culture and heritage?