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Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS)

About the Implementing organization

Name: Praja Pragathi Seva Sangham (PPSS)

Country: India

Year of establishment: 2014

Type of organization: NGO


The Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS) was first piloted by MSSRF in 2010 with IUCN/MFF funding in Tamil Nadu. The project involved the reclamation of abandoned coastal lands, and the building of local infrastructure including ponds, around and within which bunds and embankments were developed for the plantation of mangroves. The ponds were fed with mangrove-based fish seeds and organic inputs, like dead fish or organic waste, for their development. Tidal water also provided natural feed and oxygen to the ponds at no cost to the farmer, and proved to be an energy-efficient method for production. The system does not compromise on quality and size of produce; both of which are comparable to wild catch. Farmed fish sell at a price market prices, and have the potential to sell for more. Enterprising beneficiaries have started multispecies aquaculture systems within the ponds, including crab culture. Some are sowing and selling ornamental mangrove-associated plants for additional income. IMFFS translates into a sustainable source of revenue for impoverished families and has provided hope to those forced to abandon their previous livelihoods in shrimp farming, without undue damage to the coastal ecosystem. It simultaneously addresses a pressing need: the increasing demand for quality seafood in India, and by the global export market. Farmers, convinced by the merits of implementing the system, have willingly provided their land for free, as demonstration sites

Nature Element


Type of Action

Restoration / Sustainable use

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

The integrated mangroves fisheries farming system requires relatively low cost seed investment, is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Families can farm food in the relative safety of a closed system, with little or no effluent, mimicking nature (through the integration of mangrove plantations and leveraging the tidal influx) and no use of equipment. Therefore, the system is energy efficient and using organic feed ingredients (e.g. trash fish, and supplements brought in by the tides) does not pollute (like conventional aquaculture ponds). The planted mangroves furthermore contribute to protection from storms and natural disasters and act as carbon sinks. The Aquaculture Authority of India is considering this ecosystem-based model to fisheries for eco-labeling. IMFFS can be used to reclaim saline land and abandoned aquaculture ponds of which there are many along the east coast of India following the crash in shrimp aquaculture in the 1990s.

Sustainable Development Impacts

In providing the families with a more reliable means of securing income it is hoped that several of the challenges they face can be addressed, including improved food security and provision of adequate housing. In addition, the village Panchayat has now formally recognised the families as part of the local population. All these are first steps towards building a more equitable and inclusive future for the community. The initiative specifically addresses SDG Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger) and touches on SDG Goals 14 (Life Below Water). Through the project a single family was able to earn between INR 15,000 to 30,000 from their ponds within 4 months of construction. The increased income has enabled families to build longer-lasting concrete shelters, thereby increasing their ability to cope with storms and related natural disasters. A specific advantage is that communities can now sell produce when in need of money.


The interventions now need to be up-scaled to address the needs of all the families of the Yenadi tribe. There is potential to strengthen and value-add for existing families implementing the system, such as fish pickle-making. PPSS is exploring the possibility of doing this using UNDP Small Grant funding.


MSSRF and PPSS are replicating the system along the east coast of India in the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Unlike the destructive nature of many currently practiced forms of aquaculture to coastal habitats the IMFFS contributes to the ecological system through the addition of mangroves. On average, the cost of building a single pond can be recovered through its effective operation within a year.

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