Multi‐stakeholder perspectives on spatial planning processes for mariculture in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

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Abstract: 

Aquaculture provides more than half of the fish used for human consumption, contributing to food security and nutrition, economic growth and improved livelihoods. Aquaculture production in countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Sea has grown steadily, though not homogenously, mainly based on marine species. To boost development, there is a need to support governance to establish activities within a coordinated spatial planning process. Knowledge of aquaculture spatial planning processes are assessed through consultations with stakeholders from 21 countries using a structured questionnaire, internal review and a workshop to determine major barriers to the implementation in the region. Results suggest different levels of knowledge of regulatory systems in the countries surveyed. Aquaculture zoning is widespread. Site selection is a long and inefficient process, a barrier to investment, exacerbated by an apparent lack of a clear distribution of power and responsibilities. Area management is the least implemented part of the spatial planning process, with few examples of an integrated approach. Poor social acceptance of aquaculture, low technical knowledge and understanding of spatial planning concepts, and a lack of meaningful communication are among the problems highlighted by stakeholders. Although recent advances are evident, the integration of aquaculture with other users of marine space remains a work in progress that requires a specific regulatory framework, capacity building, transparency, good communication and participatory processes. Application of spatial planning following an ecosystem approach to aquaculture can contribute to improvements that have the potential to counter the negative externalities of unplanned or uncoordinated development.

Year: 
2018
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Aquaculture
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Sea-basin cooperation
Social aspects
Stakeholders
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Stocktake
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
No
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Questions this practice may help answer:

How can spatial planning contribute to aquaculture development? 

How can ecosystem approaches affect spatial planning for aquaculture?  

 

Implementation Context:

The study is based on the results of the EU Horizon project 2020 "Making Space or Aquaculture" (AquaSpace).  

Aspects / Objectives:

The study aims to review and assess the maritime spatial planning for mariculture in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. 

Method:

The aquaculture spatial planning processes were assessed through consultations with stakeholders from 21 countries using a structured questionnaire, internal review and a workshop to determine major barriers to the implementation in the region. 

Main Outputs / Results:

The study highlights stakeholders perceptions of spatial planning implementation under an ecosystem approach to aquaculture. It analyses the obstacles to aquaculture development and provides a set of recommendations for its improvement. 

Transferability:

The methodology applied can be used for similar studies in other marine regions.  

Responsible Entity:

Longline Environment Limited, London (UK).

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome (Italy).

Costs / Funding Source:

Longline Environment Limited, London (UK). 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome (Italy). 

Contact person:

Richard A. Corner: richard@longline.co.uk 

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