Mangroves are facultative halophytes that occur as forests at the confluence of the land-sea interface and are limited to the tropical and subtropical coastlines of the world. Despite their limited geographical range, mangroves are among the most productive ecosystems in the world.
They offer a wide range of goods and services which include provisioning services like food, construction materials; regulatory services like water purification, pollution control, carbon sinks, and protection of coastal communities from tropical storms; ecological benefits such as breeding and spawning grounds for fish, nesting sites for important migratory birds, and socio-cultural factors, among others.
While it is now unequivocal that mangroves are important, both by the nature of services they provide to humans and other ecosystems, the sustainability of mangroves are seriously uncertain. Like most tropical forests, they are being degraded and destroyed globally.
The Southwest Coast of Cameroon has extensive mangrove forests, on which local communities depend on for their livelihoods. The most important resource drawn from this ecosystem in the Southwest of Cameroon is wood, used for fish smoking, and the magnitude of mangrove wood exploitation has been identified both locally and regionally as a major threat to this ecotone. Studies have indicated that more than 102,650 m3 of wood is being extracted annually for fish smoking in each fishing zone within the Southwest region of Cameroon, which is a great threat to the ecosystem.Hence, urgent measures have to be taken in other to regulate such harmful activities.