Project Summary

ECOAST aims to identify, develop and test new methodologies for spatial and temporal management of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal areas. The overall approach will assess the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on coastal ecosystems, including essential fish habitats and conservation priority habitats, as well as synergies and conflicts between human activities.

Building on previous methodologies and experiences the project will evaluate marine spatial planning in seven coastal case study areas having different ecological and socio-economic characteristics:

  1. Adriatic Sea (ADR),
  2. Ionian Sea (ION),
  3. Black Sea (BLK),
  4. Tyrrhenian Sea (TYR),
  5. Baltic Sea (BAL),
  6. Norwegian Fjords (NOR),
  7. NE Atlantic Coasts (ATL).

The project outcomes will produce case specific evaluation of the ecological footprints of aquaculture and fisheries in coastal areas, maps of optimal areas for fisheries and aquaculture, evaluation of compatibility between fisheries, aquaculture and other human activities in coastal areas, as well as implementation of holistic methods and an operational modelling framework to evaluate and predict stakeholder responses to coastal spatial management options covering marine cross sector occupation of space.

Several methodologies already exist to assess the impacts on the ecosystem and the socio-economic effects of some spatial management measures, as well as to spatially manage some cross sector marine activities, but none of them integrate all relevant management aspects for coastal areas. Therefore, the holistic methodology will cover in a single system different approaches and management aspects, identifying realistic spatial and temporal potentials and limitations for the integration of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal areas, in order to allow policy makers and stakeholders to evaluate management measures from different points of view and share decisions in a transparent manner on case specific basis.

ECOAST results will support the EU and national policies through the provision of tools and data for an ecosystem based allocation of space and sustainable use of marine resources in coastal areas on case specific basis.