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Part 1 of this document contains guidelines designed to help policy makers, planners and stakeholders in the coastal zone promote sustainable aquaculture development, and facilitate its integration into broader coastal management initiatives.

The first part of the guidelines provides a background and rationale for improved planning of aquaculture development, and integration of such planning as far as possible with other sectors. The second part offers a brief review of the theory and practice of more integrated approaches to aquaculture development planning, and coastal management more generally. The third part summarises the main guiding principles that should be applied to any coastal aquaculture planning initiative, irrespective of its scope, or the administrative level at which it takes place. The fourth part deals with the need (and the obligation now resting on producer countries) for enhanced legal and institutional frameworks to promote better-planned and more sustainable coastal aquaculture development. The final part takes the reader through the various operational components of a more planned and integrated approach to promoting sustainable coastal aquaculture development, and introduces the various tools that may be used to facilitate or support these components. Brief case studies are presented throughout the text to illustrate worldwide experience in the use of different approaches and planning tools. Where appropriate the reader is referred to the more detailed discussion of supporting tools and methods in Part 2.

Our review of actual planning approaches worldwide revealed no models that were simple, effective and widely applicable. Nor did our review of the application of the various planning tools yield simple general conclusions about how and when they should be used. Their suitability and utility will depend on local circumstances and the type of aquaculture being considered. We have therefore identified as far as possible the strengths and weakness of different planning approaches, and the tools which may be used to facilitate them, so that practitioners can make a critical appraisal of these approaches, and make informed choices in relation to their own circumstances.

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