General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Guide on allocated zones for aquaculture

A guide for the establishment of coastal zones dedicated to aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea


This guide is a collection of concepts and practical information aimed at facilitating the establishment of allocated zones for aquaculture (AZAs) in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It provides detailed information on the process involved in the establishment of an AZA and it is intended as a practical and comprehensive tool to better understand site selection and planning for aquaculture.

This publication first provides a brief overview of the international and regional context, and reviews the institutional and legal framework related to AZAs at various levels. Sequential explanations on the AZA establishment process as well as suggestions for the main steps are then presented.

The step-by-step approach for the establishment of AZAs takes into account a number of specific aspects, such as geographic information system tools, exclusion criteria and stakeholder participation, the main actors to be involved, the role of relevant authorities in charge of geographical and/or marine aquaculture planning, statutory responsibilities, prevention and resolution of possible conflicts, and decision-making. The guide also describes the objectives and contents of AZA management plans and presents the parameters to be used as reference points for the AZA implementation. It is addressed to decision-makers from relevant bodies and administrations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific research institutions, aquaculture producers and fishing communities, as well as other relevant stakeholders involved in aquaculture activities, coastal development, and in the use of the aquatic environment and resources.

Macias, J.C., Avila Zaragozá, P., Karakassis, I., Sanchez-Jerez, P., Massa, F., Fezzardi, D., Yücel Gier, G., Franičević, V., Borg, J.A., Chapela Pérez, R.M., Tomassetti, P., Angel, D.L., Marino, G., Nhhala, H., Hamza, H., Carmignac, C. & Fourdain, L. 2019. Allocated zones for aquaculture: a guide for the establishment of coastal zones dedicated to aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. Studies and Reviews. No 97. Rome, FAO. 90 pp.


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