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The rationale for more integrated approaches to aquaculture development is powerful: coastal aquaculture has brought significant benefits to both national economies and coastal people; aquaculture is highly vulnerable to pollution caused by other resource users; if poorly designed or managed it may cause pollution or the spread of disease; its impacts are often limited but incremental and cumulative; and it often takes place in areas where resource ownership or use rights are ill defined and ambiguous. Efforts to integrate aquaculture into coastal management can contribute to improvements in selection, protection and allocation of sites and other resources for existing and future aquaculture developments.

This report explores how more planned and integrated approaches can be applied to aquaculture development. These approaches range from “enhanced sectoral” initiatives, to incorporation within comprehensive integrated coastal management (ICM) programmes. No simple, effective, and widely applicable models have been identified. The most appropriate approach will depend upon a wide range of local factors, including available skills and resources, the urgency of the problems or opportunities, and the nature of existing planning and development frameworks. The less comprehensive approaches may be the only realistic option in some situations, but should be seen as a starting point for, and stimulus to, more comprehensive ICM. These approaches should contribute to more systematic planning and improved management of individual aquaculture operations, as well as to the coastal aquaculture sector as a whole.

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