Developing general rules to facilitate evidence-based policy for mariculture development in and around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in England

Executive Summary

  • Marine ecosystems face ever-increasing demands from human activities and there is an urgent need for evidence-based policy and decision making to ensure sustainable management of marine resources.
  • Globally, marine capture fisheries have plateaued or are in decline, driving the need for aquaculture expansion to satisfy an ever increasing demand for seafood.
  • Marine aquaculture (mariculture) has considerable potential to contribute to sustainable ‘blue’ growth in the UK, particularly in England where the industry (predominantly shellfish mariculture) currently occupies a very small proportion (<0.1%) of the country’s territorial coastal waters.
  • The majority (>70%) of mariculture sites in England are located within MPAs and have co-existed as such over long periods of time (for up to 100 yrs).
  • We evaluate the availability of baseline data, and the development of habitat feature-specific risk assessment tools and general rules for facilitating mariculture development within MPAs.
  • In the final analysis, we set out a series of recommendations for the development of MPA/marine planning assessment tools and rules and their integration within a transparent decision-making framework (e.g. decision tree) for regulators and prospective mariculture licencees.
Download the full report
Report
Published: September 2020
Andrew Ross Brown, Carly Daniels, Charles R. Tyler (Sustainable Aquaculture Futures, Biosciences, Geoffrey Pope Building, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD)
Keith Jeffrey (Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, The Nothe, Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB)
Final Report to Research England (Strategic Priorities Fund)
Brown, AR., Daniels, C., Jeffery, K., Bateman, P., Tyler, CR (2020). Developing general rules to facilitate evidence-based policy for mariculture development in and around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in England. Report to Research England (Strategic Priorities Fund).  30pp.
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