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Almost a half million fishers in Bangladesh are predominantly reliant on the hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery in the Meghna River and estuarine ecosystem. This paper adopts a broadened concept of social-ecological traps to frame the complex dynamics that emerge from social and ecological interactions in this highly natural resource-dependent social-ecological system (SES).
The aquaculture sector in Bangladesh is an important employer and a significant source of foreign exchange. In addition, it contributes significantly to food security due to the role of fish in peoples’ diets, the most important source of protein and micronutrients. However, infectious diseases represent an important barrier to sector development due to economic losses and vulnerability of smallholders.
Mangroves are now well known to provide a range of ecosystem services that benefit local populations, though such ecosystem services are at risk from mangrove deforestation and degradation across much of the tropics. This study aimed to identify the natural and anthropogenic drivers of change that affect ecosystem services of the Sundarbans mangrove forest.