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Marine fisheries, as well as fisheries in large lakes, depend on the coastal area in a variety of ways: most capture fisheries are based on coastal stocks or exploit offshore stocks which spend part of their lives in inshore waters (e.g. in a nursery or feeding area); fish stocks rely on primary productivity in the coastal area as an important part of the food chain; and coastal aquaculture depends on the coastal area for space and resources. Thus activities that result in coastal environmental change can have major impacts on the marine fisheries sector. The fisheries sector can also affect other coastal activities, e.g. through competition for space.

It is therefore necessary to consider the development and management of the fisheries sector within the context of coastal area management and development planning, i.e. within the context of the protection and management of the resources, the environment and the activities of the coastal area. These guidelines are provided as explanatory material for Article 10 of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which concerns the integration of fisheries into coastal management to assist the rational use of scarce coastal resources.

The publication contains the provisions of Article 10, in bold, followed by related explanations and considerations. The guidelines are addressed to all who are interested in improving the use of fisheries resources in the coastal area, which includes not only the interface between the sea and the land, but also the water/land interface of large inland water bodies. The fisheries sector is taken, in the Code of Conduct and these guidelines, to refer to both capture fisheries and aquaculture, unless one sector is specifically mentioned.

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