ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF SHRIMP AQUACULTURE IN NORTHEAST BRAZIL: A REMOTE SENSING APPROACH TO COASTAL HABITAT CHANGE DETECTION
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Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of food production in the world. However, rapid expansion of shrimp aquaculture ponds may induce potentially detrimental changes in extent and health of coastal habitats utilized by migratory shorebirds. The aim of this work is to describe the landscape changes that occurred between 1990 and 2006 in coastal Northeast Brazil as a result of increased shrimp pond development. A suite of remote sensing techniques was employed to process Landsat and ASTER imagery at three separate time periods (1990, 2000 & 2006) and generate land cover maps for each time period. Post-classification change detection analysis revealed critical conversions between identified coastal habitat types in Northeast Brazil. The results of this study revealed a substantial growth of shrimp aquaculture facilities on the northern coast of Northeast Brazil between 1990 and 2006. Contrary to the literature, the expansive tidal salt flats in the study area, not mangrove forests, are experiencing the greatest destruction as a result of shrimp aquaculture. Research and management efforts should be directed at determining the extent of utilization of these salt flat areas by migratory shorebirds.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Tidal Salt Flats
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