Dramatic environmental changes are occurring in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Delta where dike-pond agriculture-aquaculture has been practiced for centuries. After Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms, serious environmental degradation has triggered far-reaching alterations in the agro-aquaculture structure, spatial pattern, and species variety especially in the municipalities of Shunde and Nanhai. Following the decline in the raising of traditional Chinese carps in ponds in the late 1980s, the development of a more sophisticated and intensive monoculture has emerged. The market-oriented, high-valued monocultural systems, focusing primarily on expanding pond surface to raise production value per (pond) unit, tend to boost economic growth at the expense of ecological benefits. This study (1984-1994) was conducted to detect changes in the dike-pond areal ratio, and to raise questions about the sustainability of the new monocultural systems. Copyright © 1999 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
|Published - Sept 1999