The ecosystem approach to aquaculture provides the conceptual guideline for spatial planning and management. This publication describes the major steps related to these activities. The rationale for and objectives of each step, the ways (methodologies) to implement it, and the means (tools) that are available to enable a methodology are described in a stepwise fashion. Recommendations to practitioners and policy-makers are provided. A separate policy brief accompanies this paper. The benefits from spatial planning and management are numerous and include higher productivity and returns for investors, and more effective mitigation of environmental, economic and social risks, the details of which are provided in this paper.

This publication is organized in two parts. Part one is the “Guidance”; it is the main body of the document and describes the processes and steps for spatial planning, including aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management. Part two of the publication includes six annexes that present key topics, including: (i) binding and non-legally binding international instruments, which set the context for sustainable national aquaculture; (ii) biosecurity zoning; (iii) aquaculture certification and zonal management; (iv) an overview of key tools and models that can be used to facilitate and inform the spatial planning process; (v) case studies from ten countries – Brazil, Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and (vi) a workshop report. The country case studies illustrate key aspects of the implementation of spatial planning and management at the national level, but mostly within local contexts. Take-home messages include the ways in which institutional, legal and policy issues are addressed to implement the process, or parts of the process.

  • Policy brief: FAO & World Bank. 2015. Aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management under the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. Policy brief. Rome, FAO.
  • Handbook: Aguilar-Manjarrez, J., Soto, D. & Brummett, R. 2017. Aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management under the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. A handbook. Report ACS18071. Rome, FAO, and World Bank Group, Washington, DC. 62 pp.
  • Full document: Aguilar-Manjarrez, J., Soto, D. & Brummett, R. 2017. Aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management under the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. Full document. Report ACS113536. Rome, FAO, and World Bank Group, Washington, DC. 395 pp.



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