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Marine aquaculture

Marine aquaculture has shown a large expansion in production in a number of Mediterranean countries over the past few decades. It provides an important source of high quality food and could be considered to be an important management tool to limit pressure on wild fish stocks which are heavily stressed due to over-fishing and pollution in coastal areas.

The interactions between aquaculture and the environment are numerous and they depend on the sensitivity of the ecosystem where it is implemented, on culture system, and on species. As a result of these interactions and of the growing public concern of environmental problems, the choice of sites for the aquaculture operations become very important.

That is why PAP focused its activity on environmental aspects of aquaculture management and implemented a relevant programme in the period 1984-1988, in co-operation with FAO and UNDP-funded Mediterranean Regional Aquaculture Project (MEDRAP). After that period, the PAP activity in the field of aquaculture was temporarily discontinued due to shortage of funds.

But, after the UNDP Project MEDRAP II reached the end of its terms, PAP/RAC assumed the co-ordination of the Network on Environment and Aquaculture in the Mediterranean (EAM), one of the four specific networks established under the co-ordination of a subcommittee of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

At the end of 1993, PAP/RAC established active links with IFREMER (French research institute for sea exploitation) and the two institutions agreed upon activities to be jointly implemented within the EAM network in the 1994-1995 period. The major result of these activities is the document Approaches for zoning of coastal areas with reference to Mediterranean aquaculture, prepared by a group of experts from IFREMER, the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC) and PAP/RAC.


DOSDAT, A., HERAL, M., KATAVIC, I., KEMPF, M., PROU, J., and SMITH, C. 1996. Approaches for zoning of coastal areas with reference to Mediterranean aquaculture/Approches pour l’aménagement de zones côtières en relation avec l’aquaculture en Méditerranée. PAP-10/EAM/GL.1. Split: PAP/RAC. pp iv + 37. ENG/FRA
(Download Aquacultureeng.pdf / 338 kb)
(Download Aquaculturefr.pdf / 706 kb)
Marine aquaculture, as a relatively new sector capable of economic growth and benefits, is now moving beyond its traditional stages to the point where it needs to have a recognisable and effective position - both in development and regulatory terms. In that context selection of the site is of vital importance since the quality and characteristics of the site are essential for both farming performance and reducing the negative impact on the environment. Site selection procedures are closely related to the coastal zone planning and management policy, especially in a climate of competition for coastal space and resources use. The document suggests that coastal zoning relevant to aquaculture must be included in the national policy and with the goals defined at every level, mainly the control of developmental activities affecting the sustainability of coastal resources.
BRUNEL, G., CATAUDELLA, S., FERLIN, Ph., FILIC, Z., FRESI, E., and GUELORGET, O. 1985. Aquaculture and Coastal Planning in the Mediterranean/Aquaculture et planification des côtes méditerranéennes. Split: PAP/RAC. pp 44. ENG/FRA

After an overview of aquaculture activities in the Mediterranean by type and reared species, the paper presents a classification of Mediterranean aquaculture strategies and explains the interdependence of aquaculture and other users of the coastal area (fisheries, agriculture, tourism, urbanisation). The study also presents the criteria for the selection and management of sites for lagoons chosen for fish rearing, semi-intensive aquaculture, rearing of various mollusc species, cage culture, and for the construction of hatcheries. The last chapter of the study is dedicated to the elements of importance for the Environmental Impact Assessment within the framework of planning of Mediterranean coastal aquaculture.

PAP/RAC. 1994. Report of the Workshop on Environmental Aspects of Shellfish Culture in the Mediterranean with Special Reference to Monitoring, Dubrovnik, 19-22 July 1994. PAP-10/EAM/W.1/1. Split: PAP/RAC. pp 28. ENG/FRA

This report contains the summaries of national reports on the state of shell-fish culture in 7 coastal countries (Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia), as well as a summary of the Israeli report on combined biofiltration by algae and molluscs. The report also reflects in brief the presentations of experts of IFREMER dealing with three approaches for the assessment of the carrying capacity of a bay for shellfish culture (a global approach, an analytical method, and the use of GIS); the automated systems for monitoring the environment; the three monitoring networks set up on the Mediterranean French coast; EU regulations concerning the production and marketing of bivalves; and possible sources of funding (especially from the European Union) regional co-operation in the field of coastal environment. Two summaries address the issues of phytoplankton monitoring and research, one referring to the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, and the other to the Eastern Adriatic coast.

UNEP. 1987. Environmental Aspects of Aquaculture Development in the Mediterranean Region (Documents Produced in the Period 1985-1987). MAP Technical Reports Series No. 15. Athens: UNEP/MAP. pp viii + 101. ENG

This technical report contains the documents produced in the preparatory phase of the priority action targeted on aquaculture. The first part of the report presents the existing Mediterranean aquaculture types and conditions prevailing in coastal areas favourable for aquaculture. The second part deals with environmental, macro-economic and socio-economic issues. The third part summarises the results of consultant missions sent to a number of sites with the task to assess the needs and constraints of both technical and scientific nature. In conclusion, the report proposes a Mediterranean co-operative project focusing on the definition of ecological criteria for the rational development and protection of aquaculture sites.


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