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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“To develop reliable methods for predicting ecosystem-aquaculture interactions and optimising future site selection for coastal aquaculture.”

The problem

Aquaculture continues to expand across Europe, often bringing benefits where traditional employment is in decline, but also posing threats to the natural environment. There is also potential for conflicts between the aquaculture sector and other coastal users. Although research has been conducted on these topics, relatively little of the information available has been drawn together to provide best-practice guidelines of general applicability across Europe. There remains a need to develop an understanding and predictive capability in the European ecosystems where aquaculture is practiced.

ECASA  Environmental and socio-economic effects of aquaculture


The ECASA project will seek to:

  • Identify quantitative indicators of aquaculture effects on ecosystems
  • Develop a range of methods and protocols that encapsulate current understanding of ecosystem processes
  • Test the models and indicators across Europe, encompassing species, technologies, environment types, according to criteria developed during the project
  • Use these data to test and select the optimum methods, protocols, models and indicators, for effective implementation

Contribution to policy development:

ECASA will:

  • Help define indicators that will improve site selection and assist in meeting the requirements of EU directives for environmental impact assessments (EIA)
  • Help define the cost to wild stock fisheries of aquaculture initiatives, and vice versa
  • Provide information on socio-economic and ecosystem-aquaculture interactions in European coastal environments

Project deliverables

  • Identification of factors influencing ecosystem change and developing environmental indicators – January 2005-December 2005
  • Assessment of the applicability of indicators and development of operational methods and protocols – May 2005-September 2007
  • ‘Toolpack’ of validated indicators and models for improved EIA and site selection for marine aquaculture – December 2007
  • Final project report and audit certificate – January 2008


  • Launch project websites – April 2005
  • Newsletters and progress reports – 2005-2007
  • Contribution to conferences, meetings with stakeholder groups, exchanging information with related national and EU-funded projects, and submitting results for publication in scientific and trade publications – ongoing

Technical information

Project acronym: ECASA
Project’s official full title: ECosystem Approach for Sustainable Aquaculture
Research priority: 1.3 Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 006540
Start date: 1 December 2004
Kick off meeting: December 2004
Completion date: January 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Jacques Fuchs (

Name: Scottish Association for Marine Science – Dr Kenny Black
Abbreviated name: SAMS
Address: Dunstaffnage Marine Research Laboratory
PO Box 3
Oban PA34 4AD
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1631 559000
Fax: +44 (0)1631 559001
E.mail : Kenny Black (


Name: Centre for the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources
Abbreviated name: UOP
Country: United Kingdom         

Name: Napier University
Abbreviated name: NNUE
Country: United Kingdom

Name: National Institute of Biology
Abbreviated name: NIB
Country: Slovenia          

Name: Leibniz-Institute of Marine Science
Abbreviated name: IFM-GEOMAR
Country: Germany

Name: Akvaplan Niva
Abbreviated name: Akvaplan
Country: Norway

Name: University of Haifa
Abbreviated name: HAIFA
Country: Israel           

Name: University of Crete
Abbreviated name: UOC
Country: Greece 

Name: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Abbreviated name: PML
Country: United Kingdom         

Name: Institute of Marine Research
Abbreviated name: IMAR
Country: Portugal           

Name: Central Institute for Marine Research
Abbreviated name: ICRAM
Country: Italy 

Name: Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France 

Name: Instituto Tecnológico Pesquero y Alimentario
Abbreviated name: AZTI
Country: Spain

Name: University of Venice
Abbreviated name: DCF_UNIVE
Country: Italy 

Name: Rudjer Boskovic Institute
Abbreviated name: RBI
Country: Croatia 

Name: University of Göteborg
Abbreviated name: UGOT
Country: Sweden