Safeguarding Marine Protected Areas in the growing Mediterranean Blue Economy - Recommendations for aquaculture


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This document, produced within the framework of the Pharos4MPAs project, aims to explore how Marine Protected Areas could be affected by aquaculture, and provides a set of practical recommendations to avoid or minimize its environmental impacts.  

Sea Basin(s): 
May 2019
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Nature protection
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Economic aspects
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Habitats and Birds Directive
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • How do aquaculture activities affect the MPAs?   
  • How to prevent/avoid/reduce impacts of aquaculture activities on the MPAs?   

Implementation Context: 

The report is developed within the framework of the PHAROS4MPAs project. It explores the ways Mediterranean MPAs are affected by activities in the growing Blue Economy, and provides a set of practical recommendations to regional stakeholders regarding the prevention and minimization of environmental impacts of the key sectors.  

Aspects / Objectives: 

By bringing together different stakeholders and exploring the major issues experienced in the MPAs, PHAROS4MPAs´ goal is to provide best practices and to facilitate information exchange among the MPAs affected by similar pressures. The aim of the project is to produce practical recommendations for addressing potential negative interactions between aquaculture activities and the MPAs. 


The report is developed taking into consideration different roles, interests and attitudes of the MPA managers, public authorities and representatives of aquaculture activities. 

Main Outputs / Results: 

An aquaculture represents a booming sector requiring space for continuing growth. The experience has shown that aquaculture can be practiced within the MPAs. However, its environmental impacts and coexistence with the MPAs has to be taken into consideration. The document provides an overview of aquaculture activities in the Mediterranean area, as well as spatial interactions between these activities and MPAs. The document also provides a number of recommendations regarding the prevention and minimization of these impacts, depending on the stakeholder concerned (i.e. public authorities, MPA mangers and aquaculture business sector).  


While recommendations adress the impacts of aquaculture on MPAs in the Mediterranean Sea, the model and methodology could potentially be applied to other regions. 

Responsible Entity:   

Pharos4MPAs project.   

Funding Source:   

Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020   

Contact person:   

Project coordinator:   

Catherine Piante   


6 Rue de Fabres 13001 Marseille   


Ph.: +33 4 96116946