Blue carbon in the Dutch Caribbean
Recently, the Dutch state of play regarding blue carbon in the Netherlands was reviewed (Tamis & Foekema 2015)1. Since the review was focussed on the North East Atlantic, the Dutch Caribbean was not included. Therefore an additional review was conducted providing information on blue carbon in the Dutch Caribbean, including a discussion on the relevance of ecosystems other than the internationally accepted blue carbon ecosystems (i.e. mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass beds) and the potential of blue carbon as an ecosystem service.
Marine molluscs and coral reefs cannot be regarded as blue carbon ecosystems. Other potential blue carbon ecosystems (i.e. open oceans, fish, kelp and algal mats) are unsure or unknown. Thus no other ecosystems were included. All three blue carbon ecosystems are found in the Dutch Caribbean, with mangroves containing the highest blue carbon stock. An estimated amount of nearly 564 thousand tonnes carbon is stored in these ecosystems, which is less than the estimated amount in the Netherlands. Mangroves are found on Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao but not on Saba and St Eustatius. On St. Maarten some mangrove vegetation is present, but most has been removed. Carbon sequestration is acknowledged as ecosystem service and the economic value of blue carbon ecosystems has been quantified in different case studies.