Term Paper on the Impact of Shrimp Culture on the Coastal Environment

The present paper looks into the impact of shrimp cultivation in the coastal areas. It has sharply focused on the cost of development which is closely related to environmentally destructive practices of the very poor. 

It is generally claimed that shrimp farming may have made 'partial improvement' in the economy of Bangladesh by improving shrimp production without reducing paddy or salt production in the coastal belt. This is perhaps true where the shrimp farming has been responsive to the demand for timely release of the land for paddy or salt cultivation. But in most cases, the shrimp farmers, either outsiders or powerful local elites, have not responded positively to meeting this demand. The net result has been quite disturbing. 

The indiscriminate intrusion of saline water into others' paddy fields and the exclusion of local shrimp farmers from the production processes have serious implication for the local ecology. Excessive salinity has not only led to shrinkage of common grazing ground for the livestock and poultry, many of the sensitive trees have also died. The outsiders have also imported migrant labourers from their own localities, perhaps for good reasons from their own perspectives. But this has laid off local labourers. The economic hardship of the local labouring class has thus intensified. Unprecedented social tensions have been unleashed. The state at the local level, especially police, has often been aiding the powerful groups for obvious reasons. So shrimp culture has led to degradation of environment, both physical and social, at a scale which deserves serious investigation.

The study itself is divided into six chapters. Besides introduction, chapter-1 gives objectives, Rational and methodology of the study. Chapter-2 focused on the conceptual framework on the ecology and society and the interrelationship  between development and environment. Chapter-3 deals with the different aspects of shrimp cultivation in Bangladesh. Chapter-4 Highlights the changes in the environment and ecological condition in the coastal belt. Chapter-5 comprised with major finding and finally. Chapter-6 concludes in this paper with recommendation.