Improving mangrove based crab culture for stable income, community connection and promoting mangrove plantation

Household checks on crab nursing pond

Household checks on crab nursing pond , Truong Long Hoa, Duyen Hai, Tra Vinh, Vietnam © IUCN Vietnam


The project aims to develop mangrove-based crab poly-culture for the sustainable income and ecological environment to the community as well as to raise awareness on the importance of mangroves


Rapid mangrove loss due to industrial shrimp farming development has resulted in shrimp production decrease for local households in Truong Long Hoa commune of Duyen Hai district, Tra Vinh province. In the last ten years, people have realized the benefit from keeping mangroves in their farming ponds and shifted into mangrove-based aquaculture. However, the economic effect is not high due to the lack of funding, techniques and experience. 

Target beneficiaries

  • 20 households will directly participate in demonstration plots
  • One mangrove group with 50 members for experience exchange and awareness raising on mangrove protection. 


  • 1.5 ha mangrove is planted
  • Mangrove-based crab farming model is built on 10 ha of pond area
  • Five demonstration plots of different mangrove ratio in pond is built for result comparison
  • 100kg/ha/month of natural shrimp and fish is harvested from the second month of project
  • 150kg/ha/month of farmed crab is harvested from the sixth month of project
  • Knowledge improving through technical guidelines and promotion leaflets

Accomplishments and challenges

When the project was finalized, on average, each household had obtained 30-40 kg / month and increased their income by 2-3 million VND / month from harvest of crabs and by 1-2 million VND / month from harvest of natural fish and shrimp.

The current rate of mangrove coverage in households has risen to over 30% compared to the total area of cultivated land. Thanks to the protected mangroves, crab farming environment has been stable. Decomposed leaves from mangroves are a natural source of feed for crabs; the shade of the mangroves provide crabs with shelter when the weather is hot; their roots are the shelter and natural habitat of crabs.

The project has helped raise awareness of the community about the importance and practicality of mangroves for shrimp and crabs, and the role of forest protection for the mitigation of climate change.

The project has helped to create jobs for idle workers, especially women through the restructuring of production and application of scientific and technical advances.

The project participants have been equipped with knowledge and skills. They have shared experience and helped each other in developing sustainable and effective economic models. Also, through the project, the link between the local authorities and people has been enhanced.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

  • Climate change adaptation

Lessons Learned

It is very important to choose the right households meeting the requirements of the project. A participating household had to be substituted by Tra Vinh University's experimental farm in Truong Long Hoa Commune, because the household members did not actively comply with crab farming techniques as required.

It is necessary to do more research in what rate of mangrove coverage is suitable for the polyculture model in aquaculture.

Project Facts



Truong Long Hoa , Duyen Hai, Tra Vinh, Vietnam



1st Apr 2014 to 31st Mar 2015

MFF Grant Amount

VND 400,480,000

Implementing Partner


Representatives Contact: Pham Tiet Khanh

Address: No. 126 Nat. Highway 53, Ward 5, Tra Vinh City, Tra Vinh Province.

Telephone: (84743) 855 246

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