Case study 4: Tyrrhenian Sea

Responsible: Maria Grazia Finoia ISPRA, Italy

The case study is located in the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea with a focus on coast from Orbetello to Follonica Gulf area (Tuscany, Italy) where several human activities as shipping, industries, tourism, fisheries and aquaculture coexist. The selected area includes some important Natura 2000 sites (wetlands and dune systems) and fall within the boundaries of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals. In close proximity is located the National Marine Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. Due to favorable geographical and environmental features, the selected area is very attractive for the development of mariculture and it is the most important productive pole for sea bass and sea bream in Italy. Currently there are already two off-shore cage farms producing sea bass and sea bream in the Follonica Gulf and two new sites are currently under scrutiny for licensing for aquaculture activities.

The Case Study aims to set methodological criteria for aquaculture marine spatial planning and for the identification of i) suitable,ii) unsuitable areas for aquaculture activities, and iii) area with particular regulation and/or restriction for aquaculture activities in the case study area. This process will be carried out by collecting environmental and spatial data, combining Earth Observations Remotely-sensed data with in situ observations, and delivered through Geographic Information System (GIS) applications.

Within the zone suitable for aquaculture (Allocated zone for aquaculture, AZA), specific site selection and an environmental monitoring programme to account for potential environmental impact of aquaculture activities at farm level and potential multiple added effects in the area. The economic viability of the initiatives and the availability of services and logistics to support the activities at local level will be analyzed together with other competing use of space.

The Case Study will address ECOAST objectives providing to spatial planning authorities’ tools, indicators and maps for aquaculture spatial plans integrated with other relevant activities along the Northern Tyrrhenian coastal area, in accordance with the Directive 2014/89/EU on MSP and the Resolution GFCM/36/2012/1 on AZA for the Mediterranean. At farm level, production and management data will be collected and integrated with other relevant environmental information supporting activities for analysis of ecological footprint of sea bass and sea bream aquaculture (WP3).