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The implications of aquaculture policy and regulation for the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Europe

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 18:14 authored by Karen AlexanderKaren Alexander, Potts, TP, Freeman, S, Israel, D, Johansen, J, Kletou, D, Meland, M, Pecorino, D, Rebours, C, Shorten, M, Angel, DL
Demands for fish and shellfish as food products are increasing; however, the potential for large scale production faces numerous challenges. Policy and legislation are likely to have an impact on the development of more sustainable aquaculture practices such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). This study investigated the flexibility within the current governance frameworks across six European countries to allow for the adoption and management of IMTA. A snowball approach was used to identify relevant EU legislation, which was used as the basis by which to identify national/regional legislation which implemented EU requirements. This data was combined with a desk study to create a legislation overview for each of six countries, which was then subject to a Comparative Legal Analysis of the regulatory frameworks. Key findings were that inter alia: an existing policy focus on environmental sustainability and technological innovation may be an incentive for IMTA; and that the regulatory framework is complex and extensive and this may be a barrier to IMTA. Overall, this study found that national frameworks were generally amenable to experimental IMTA pilot schemes, but that for commercial expansion substantial regulatory reform would be required. Particularly, there may be a need for change to some aspects of legal regimes relating to the transfer of disease, fish health and food safety.


Publication title









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified