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Region:    Europe

Impacts and pressures by aquaculture activities Regional

EC DG Environment - Project Dates:
January 2009 - September 2009

Description of Project:
Taking account of the economic development prospects of the aquaculture sector and in light of the requirements that Member States will implement under EU environmental legislation, the European Commission required that the available information on these developments, together with a systemized overview of the most likely environmental pressures and impacts as described in the relevant literature, should be pulled together in the form of a study.

Services Provided:
This work had three broad objectives:

2.1. Compile an overview of data and information on this sector. Compile and quantify any relevant forecast on the level of aquaculture production, aggregate them at different levels (countries, basins, type of waters, etc) and, along with other information, draw general trends that allow the identification of domains likely to undergo important changes in the volume of production and, amongst them, those where the needs to mitigate, or fully avoid, the risk of serious environmental deterioration caused by these activities are likely to be more important (finfish v shellfish, coastal waters v offshore, rivers v marine, etc.).

2.2. Provide information (impacts, pressures, models, etc) allowing the environmental effects of aquaculture activities to be properly factored into the implementation of EU water legislation Within the broader framework DPSIR8 and using the chemical and ecological quality elements and descriptors of environmental status laid down by the WFD and the MSFD, it is important to identify proper parameters allowing the setting of values to define the good environmental status of concerned bodies of water, as regards the impacts and pressures resulting from aquaculture activities. The way to set relevant target values for these parameters, in order to define pertinent programmes of measures, should also be explored. Finally, monitoring mechanisms of these parameters should be proposed and discussed.

2.3. Assess whether current EU environmental legislation properly tackle current and future harmful effects of aquaculture activities It should be ascertained whether the current EU regulatory framework provides the aquatic environment with an adequate level of protection, in view of the main effects of aquaculture activities. For each of the possible impacts and pressures identified in .2.2, the kind of tool laid down by relevant EU legislation should be identified.