Interaction in coastal waters: a roadmap to sustainable integration of aquaculture and fisheries (COEXIST)

Project description

COEXIST is a broad, multidisciplinary project which will evaluate competing activities and interactions in European coastal areas. The ultimate goal of the COEXIST project is to provide a roadmap to better integration, sustainability and synergies across the diverse activities taking place in the European coastal zone.

A roadmap for integration of aquaculture and fisheries with other activities in the coastal zone will be the central output of the project.

 The ultimate project outcomes will be:

  • Characterisation of relevant European coastal marine ecosystems, their current utilisation and spatial management.
  • Evaluation of spatial management tools for combining coastal fisheries, aquaculture and other uses, both now and in the future.

The COEXIST Project is divided into eight Work Packages that will allow its correct execution at both the administrative and the scientific level. Six Case Studies from a number of different regions will be under consideration. These case studies, representing the specific conditions and combinations of activities of European coastal areas of particular importance for aquaculture and coastal fisheries, will provide data for further analysis and evaluation.

The Baltic Sea case study

In the Baltic Sea case study, focused on the Finnish Archipelago area and lead by FGFRI, the objectives are:

  • To characterise in detail the key interactions occurring in the case study area between aquaculture, fisheries and other sectors
  • To describe the conflicts and analyse the governance of these key interactions
  • To assess how a Marine Spatial Management Approach (Site selection etc.) can help to mediate these conflicts
  • To construct a LCA based environmental sustainability assessment tool that can be used as a valuable management tool to facilitate management of these interactions (responsible partner: SYKE).
  • To construct a multidisciplinary decision support tool that can be used, if successful, as a generic management model to promote EU wide maritime spatial planning.
  • To assess economic aspects of aquaculture/fisheries interactions if net loading model would be employed in the Baltic Sea fish farming
  • To ensure that outputs relevant to WP’s are delivered from this CS. 

Three suggested management options will be studied and compared with the present situation. The interconnected options are:

  • Net loading option (fisheries of low-valued stocks for nutrient removal to justify aquaculture licenses)
  • Localized value chain by changing global feed ingredients to local resources (nutrient recycling within the Archipelago fisheries and aquaculture)
  • Rationalized farming site location strategy (fewer, bigger and better located farms)

More information

Senior researcher Juha Grönroos, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,


Published 2013-04-24 at 10:06, updated 2013-04-24 at 10:06