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Aquaculture 226 (2003) 139 – 163 www.elsevier.com/locate/aqua-online Management of environmental impacts of marine
Aquaculture 226 (2003) 139 – 163 www.elsevier.com/locate/aqua-online Management of environmental impacts of marine

Aquaculture 226 (2003) 139 – 163

Aquaculture 226 (2003) 139 – 163 www.elsevier.com/locate/aqua-online Management of environmental impacts of marine

www.elsevier.com/locate/aqua-online

Management of environmental impacts of marine aquaculture in Europe

Paul Read * , Teresa Fernandes

Department of Biological Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Napier University, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH9 2DT Scotland, UK

Abstract

There are large differences between countries in the rate of growth and development of marine aquaculture, and also in the sophistication and complexity of its regulation, control and monitoring procedures. The potentially deleterious impacts of aquaculture are widely documented in the literature [J. Appl. Ichthyol. 17 (2001) 181; Fernandes, T.F., Eleftheriou, A., Ackefors, H., Eleftheriou, M., Ervik, A., Sanchez-Mata, A., Scanlon, T., White, P., Cochrane, S., Pearson, T.H., Miller, K.L., Read, P.A., 2002. The Management of the Environmental Impacts of Aquaculture. Scottish Executive, Aberdeen, UK, 88 pp.]. It is widely accepted that such impacts would be minimised or negated by the adoption of appropriate culturing procedures and environmental safeguards including regulatory, control and monitoring procedures [Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), 1989. Fish Farming and the Safeguard of the Natural Marine Environment of Scotland. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough, England, 136 pp.; Codling, I.D., Doughty, R., Henderson, A., Naismith, I., 1995. Strategies for Monitoring Sediments and Fauna Around Cage Fish Farms. Marlow, UK: Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER), Report No. SR 4018, 78 pp.; GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/ UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), 1996. Monitoring the ecological effects of coastal aquaculture wastes. Scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. Rome, Italy: Rep. Stud. GESAMP No. 57, 38 pp.; GESAMP (IMO/FAO/ UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), 2001. Planning and management for sustainable coastal aquaculture development. Rome, Italy: Rep. Stud. GESAMP No. 68, 90 pp.]. It is essential that such safeguards are formulated from the best available science and technology and from the best available experience and expertise. In this context, there are lessons to be learned from the strategy and regulatory framework for the regulation, control and monitoring of environmental impacts of marine aquaculture within the European Union (EU).

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-131-455-2625; fax: +44-131-255-2291. E-mail address: p.read@napier.ac.UK (P. Read).

0044-8486/$ - see front matter D 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(03)00474-5

140 P. Read, T. Fernandes / Aquaculture 226 (2003) 139–163

This paper identifies some of the main issues relevant to the management of environmental impacts of marine aquaculture; reviews EU and international policy and regulations in this context and provides one example of a strategy for the management of the environmental impacts of marine aquaculture by reference to the marine aquaculture industry in Scotland. In conclusion, it examines a number of current, key environmental concerns pertaining to the impact and regulation of marine aquaculture, which whilst being the subject of divergent views, are pivotal to the development of the industry. Recommendations for systems, procedures and research to address these concerns are identified. The paper is primarily concerned with marine finfish culture, although brief reference is made to shellfish culture. The control of diseases of finfish and shellfish is outside the scope of the paper, although brief consideration is given to current concerns relating to sea lice (predominantly Lepeophtheirus salmonis ) infestations in salmonids. D 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Marine; Aquaculture; Environment; Impact; Control; Regulation

1. Introduction

Marine aquaculture involves a variety of species, rearing techniques and husbandry methods. Extensive marine aquaculture involves the farming of finfish or shellfish in a ‘natural’ habitat with no supplementary food added and with minimum impact on the environment. Conversely, the intensive farming of marine finfish, commonly practised in cages or ponds, involves the supply of high quality artificial feeds and medication with consequent impacts on the environment, mainly due to the release of organic and inorganic nutrients and the release of chemicals used for medication. These impacts tend to be most severe in areas with poor water exchange (Midlen and Redding, 1998; Oceanographic Applications to Eutrophication in Regions of Restricted Exchange (OAERRE), 2001) . Marine aquaculture of finfish has become more intensive over the last 15 years due mainly to the introduction of new technologies, the expansion of suitable sites, improve- ments in feed technology, improved understanding of the biology of the farmed species, increased water quality within farming systems and the increased demand for fish products (DeVoe, 1994; Ross, 1997) . It is now widely acknowledged that this intensive develop- ment of the industry has been accompanied by an increase in environmental impacts (Ervik et al., 1997) . In this context, the sustainability of intensive marine aquaculture has been brought into question (Read et al., 2001a) . In addition to considerations of sustainability, the development of marine aquaculture has led to conflicting demands for coastal resources. In this context, it is widely accepted that coastal aquaculture should be developed within an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) framework (Fernandes and Read, 2001; GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/ WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), 2001) . Such proactive management would address potential conflicts since decisions would be made during the planning stages of any proposed developments. The environmental impacts of marine aquaculture within the European Union (EU), are regulated and managed, at a European level, by a variety of European Commission (EC) Directives and International Conventions. There are currently eight EC Directives that relate

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directly to the management of the environmental impacts of aquaculture, plus Directives affecting the marketing of medicinal veterinary products, and Resolutions, Decisions and Communications pertaining to ICZM. The eight Directives are the Dangerous Substances Directive, the Quality of Shellfish Growing Waters Directive, the Shellfish Directive, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, the Strategic Environmental Assess- ment Directive (SEA), the Species and Habitats Directive, the Wild Birds Directive and the Water Framework Directive. There are an additional 50+EC Directives, Decisions and Regulations, which have an indirect effect on the monitoring and regulation of marine aquaculture (Read et al., 2001b) . EC Directives are ratified by EU Member States through the implementation of national legislation and regulations, restricting, for example, aquaculture developments in protected areas and the discharge of aquaculture effluents, and stipulating, for example, environmental (water) quality standards (e.g. Piedrahita, 1994 ). The new EC Water Framework Directive (WFD) will supersede the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Shellfish Growing Waters Directive. As with the Species and Habitats Directive, it will take an holistic approach to the protection of surface waters and will aim to maintain the integrity of ecosystem characteristics (Read et al., 2001c) . At an international level, rather than an EU level, there are currently three International Conventions on marine pollution covering the coastal waters of the EU states, which can directly influence the management and regulation of marine aquaculture in the EU. These are the OSPAR Convention, formed by the recent amalgamation of the Olso and Paris Conventions covering the northeast Atlantic, the Helsinki Convention covering the Baltic Sea and the Barcelona Convention covering the Mediterranean Sea (Davies, 2001) . There are an additional 30+ international agreements that have an indirect affect on the monitoring and regulation of marine aquaculture (Read et al., 2001b) . As with EU Directives, International Conventions are ratified by the signatory States through the implementation of national legislation and regulations.

2. Environmental impacts of marine aquaculture operations

The environmental impacts of aquaculture have been reviewed by Fernandes et al. (2002) . The potential impacts of aquaculture are wide-ranging, from aesthetic aspects to direct pollution problems (O’Sullivan, 1992; Garrett et al., 1997; Midlen and Redding, 1998) . Marine aquaculture operations and the associated infrastructure can, for example, impact on scenic rural areas. Fish production can generate considerable amounts of effluent, such as waste feed and faeces, medications and pesticides, which can have undesirable impacts on the environment (Gowen and Bradbury, 1987; Ackefors and Enell, 1994; Wu, 1995; Axler et al., 1996; Kelly et al., 1996) . There may also be undesirable effects on wild populations, such as genetic interactions between escaped farmed fish and wild fish (Youngson et al., 2001) , disease transfer by escaped fish or through ingestion of contaminated waste by wild fish (Heggberget et al., 1993) and effects on the wider ecosystem. Considerations of the sustainability of aquaculture include, importantly, the ecological resources required to sustain the industry, namely, fish food for farmed species and environmental capacity to assimilate waste (Read et al., 2001a) . It has been suggested, nevertheless, that the environmental impacts of aquaculture could be minimised or negated

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by the adoption of appropriate environmental safeguards, including regulatory, control and monitoring procedures (Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), 1989; Codling et al., 1995; GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), 1996) . Discharges from aquaculture to the aquatic environment may be categorised as:

continuous discharges from aquaculture production, periodic discharges from farm activities and periodic discharges of chemicals. Production discharges comprise mainly dissolved and particulate organic and inorganic nutrients. The various dissolved and particulate organic compounds, in the form of faeces, waste food and accidental food spillage, include proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and pigments. Some inorganic excretory products are also released, mainly ammonium and species-dependent trace quantities of bicarbonate, phosphate and urea. Discharges from farm activities comprise fish processing waste and regulated dumping of mortalities, usually in silage form. Inorganic discharges within this category include detergents and effluent from net washing (antifoulants and heavy metals). Most of the latter discharges are released from farm activities other than on-growing. The release of chemicals from production sites comprises mainly medicines and antifoulants. The behaviour of any type of waste released into the water column depends on the hydrographic conditions, bottom topography and geography of the area in question. Dissolved products include ammonia, phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon (which includes dissolved organic nitrogen and dissolved organic phosphorus) and lipids released from the diet, which may form a film on the water surface (Black, 2001). The environmental impact of these dissolved products depends on the rate at which nutrients are diluted before being assimilated by the pelagic ecosystem. In restricted exchange environments, there is a risk of high levels of nutrients accumulating in one area (hypernutrification). In terms of the capacity of restricted exchange environments to assimilate plant nutrients from cage fish culture, it has been argued that sufficient nutrients have been added in some areas to accelerate algal growth and to produce an undesirable disturbance to the balance of organisms and the quality of the water concerned (through the occurrence of harmful blooms, increased oxygen consumption in deep water, and/or increased production of toxins by certain algae) (Midlen and Redding, 1998; Oceanographic Applications to Eutrophication in Regions of Restricted Exchange (OAERRE), 2001) . Others have argued that aquaculture contributes only a fraction of the total nutrients added to coastal waters and that the system is well below its assimilative capacity (Black, 2001) . One of the principal conclusions in a very recent piece of research by Tett and Edwards (2002) is that, in Scotland, whilst some coastal waters and sea lochs are enriched with anthropogenic nutrients from a range of sources, including aquaculture, physical limiting factors, e.g. light, and biological limiting factors, e.g. grazing, prevent the occurrence of undesirable disturbance in almost all well-documented cases. This piece of research also indicates that explanations for the occurrence of algae that produce toxins and cause shellfish poisoning will probably be intrinsic features of the biology and ecology of these organisms, e.g. genetic change following sexual reproduction, infection by bacteria or viruses that either make toxins or make precursors to toxins, rather than the effects of nutrient enrichment. In shallow waters, with weak currents, particulate waste products from aquaculture installations will settle to the bottom close to the discharge point. In this case, continued

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production can give rise to a rapid local accumulation of waste material on the sea floor (Fernandes et al., 2002) . Deposition of organic matter below cage fish farms and resultant changes in sediment condition are the most obvious and best studied impacts of marine fish farming. This is partly due to the fact that these effects differ little from those of any other forms of organic enrichment (Samuelsen et al., 1988) . The environmental factors that influence how much of this material reaches the sediment directly under sea cages include tidal flow, supply of waste, depth of site, composition, size and behaviour of particulate matter ejected, temperature and salinity of sea water, and wind and wave action (Provost, 1996) . Effluent released into deeper waters, or where the bottom is well swept by strong currents, will, in general, be dispersed over a large area. A range of chemicals is used in European marine aquaculture and these may be categorised as disinfectants, antifoulants and veterinary medicines. The term medicines includes antibiotics, anaesthetics, ectoparasiticides, endoparasiticides and vaccines. These are used to control external and internal parasites, or microbial infections (Costello et al., 2001) . Sea lice are the most common and economically significant parasite in Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ) farming and a range of veterinary medicines is used to control them. The environmental concerns over the use of chemicals in the aquatic environment relate to: the direct toxicity of the compounds to non target organisms; the development of resistance to compounds by pathogenic organisms; the prophylactic use of therapeutants and the length of time they remain active in the environment (Costello et al., 2001) . The results of research fishing in the ocean confirm that significant escapes of farmed salmon stocks have occurred (Youngson et al., 2001) . In recent years, for example, the frequency of occurrence of farmed Atlantic salmon in the Faroese ocean area has been between 20% and 30% (Hansen et al., 1997, 1999) . In a review of interactions between marine finfish species in European aquaculture and wild conspecifics, Youngson et al. (2001) state that, for Atlantic salmon and sea bass ( Dicentrarchus labrax ), natural population structure is at risk from genetic interaction with escaped aquaculture con- specifics. Furthermore, the locally adaptive features of populations are at risk from interbreeding with non local aquaculture fish and wild populations, generally, are at risk from interactions with aquaculture fish that have been subject to artificial selection or domestication. Fishmeal and fish oil are key constituents of pelleted diets for intensive production of carnivorous fish. The effects of aquaculture on world fish supplies have been reviewed by Naylor et al. (2000) and summarised by Black (2001) . Approximately one third of fish meal product is currently used in aquaculture and this proportion is increasing annually. Feed conversion ratios are continually improving and approaching 1:1, i.e., 1 kg fish product per kilogram of feed, but despite these improvements, it still requires 2 –5 kg of wild fish to produce 1 kg of fishmeal-fed fish. A number of factors, such as the production of fishmeal from fish unfit for human consumption, mitigate against this wasteful use of fish resource, but it is nevertheless unsustainable in the long term. Furthermore, aquaculture that is dependent on this resource is vulnerable to collapse through the loss of profit margins due to reduction in fishery production and consequent increase in fishmeal feed price. The environmental impact of marine aquaculture, summarised above, is managed in the EU through the implementation of legislative and regulatory measures and Codes of Conduct and Codes of Practice. In practice, compliance with these measures and codes

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requires the adoption of Best Practice and Best Available Technology in relation to matters such as: site selection; management practices that minimise food waste and chemical usage and synchronised production, fallowing and disease control (Cho et al., 1994; Ervik et al., 1994) .

3. The development of aquaculture policy within the European Union

Aquaculture has grown substantially in a number of EU countries over recent years, and it is essentially an economic development within small and medium sized enterprises in remote areas where alternative employment is scarce. This has been particularly evident in marine aquaculture (Atlantic salmon in Scotland, Norway and Ireland, seabass and seabream ( Sparus aurata ) in the Mediterranean and mussel (Mytilus edulis ) farming by line or raft in Ireland, Spain and France). This overall trend has been enhanced by a general decline in catchable wild fish stocks and an increase in public demand for finfish and shellfish resources. (Fernandes et al., 2000) . Within the European Union, the regulation of the aquaculture sector comes under the remit of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). A review of fisheries activities was undertaken in 1991 by the European Commission and stressed the need for rational, responsible, and sustainable exploitation of fisheries, a more effective control of the whole fishing industry, and a broad sharing of responsibilities for managing the CFP. In line with these conclusions, new regulations in 1992 and 1993 established a Community system for fisheries and aquaculture and a control system applicable to the common fisheries policy. These regulations strengthened the controls and extended monitoring beyond catching of fish to other aspects of the CFP, such as structures, fish marketing and aquaculture. It is specifically acknowledged in these regulations that it is necessary to include rules for the monitoring of conservation and resource management, and that Member States shall adopt provisions to comply with the objectives of regular monitoring of activities and technical controls, particularly in development of the aquaculture industry in coastal areas . The submission of statistics on aquaculture products is also a requirement at a European level. This resulted from an acknowledge- ment of the impact of aquaculture on regional development and on the environment (Fernandes et al., 2000) .

4. The development of aquaculture regulations within the European Union

The legal and regulatory background to Best Environmental Practice in aquaculture has been reviewed by Eleftheriou and Eleftheriou (2001) . In EU Member States, the legal and regulatory framework used to manage aquaculture activities has been developed in response to international requirements as well as national needs. This framework is multi-purpose in function and capable of broad application, since it impinges on the regulation of matters such as water, land, public health, sanitation and animal health and disease. The EU has introduced many Directives over the last 30 years that have led to the implementation of national legislation relevant to the management of the environmen-

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tal impact of marine aquaculture through the establishment of appropriate Environ- mental Quality Objectives (EQOs) and Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs). The EU has also introduced environmental provisions into all policy areas in order to emphasise the importance of environmental protection. In the context of marine aquaculture, environmental protection measures have been established at three levels:

(i) general policy; (ii) specific measures; and (iii) regulations that control specific local conditions. Firstly, as a general policy under the terms of the Maastricht Treaty, the EU is obliged to include environmental protection requirements when formulating its policies. Secondly, member states are required to ensure that all aquaculture enter- prises operate within the laws, regulations and rules of the individual country and also of the EU. Thirdly, legislation aimed at protecting the aquatic environment is also intended to safeguard aquaculture activities against damage to their resource base by controlling polluting discharges from other activities (Eleftheriou and Eleftheriou, 2001) . EC Directives relevant to marine aquaculture are not confined to the establishment of Environmental Quality Objectives and Environmental Quality Standards. They are also implicated in the integration of aquaculture management within the management of the whole coastal zone, through Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and in certain procedural formalities involved in the setting up of aquaculture activities, such as the requirement for Environmental Impact Assessment in the licensing procedures for aquaculture developments (Fernandes and Read, 2001) .

5. EC Directives directly relevant to the environmental impacts of marine aquaculture

The most relevant EC Directives in relation to the management of the environmental impacts of marine aquaculture have been reviewed by Henderson and Davies (2000) and by Read et al. (2001c) .

5.1. EC dangerous substances directive

Some chemicals used within marine fish farming fall within the List II definition (deleterious effects upon the aquatic environment) of the EC Directive on Dangerous Substances (76/464/EEC). Member states are required to introduce programmes to reduce pollution by list II substances and only authorise their release on the basis of Emission Limit Values (ELVs) to ensure compliance with Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOs). This may involve product substitution (requiring the use of a less hazardous chemical) and shall take into account the ‘‘latest economically feasible technical develop- ments’’, i.e., Best Environmental Practice (BEP).

5.2. EC quality of shellfish growing waters directive

This Directive (79/923/EEC) concerns the quality of shellfish waters in areas desig- nated by the Member States as needing protection or improvement in order to contribute to

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the high quality of shellfish products directly edible by man. It defines guideline and imperative values for shellfish flesh and shellfish waters. Member States must establish programmes for reducing pollution to ensure that designated waters comply with the defined standards. Concerns over biocides are already covered by the EC Dangerous Substances Directive, to which the EC Shellfish Growing Waters Directive makes reference.

5.3. EC Shellfish Directive

The Shellfish Directive (91/492/EEC) concerns the quality of shellfish waters and lays down the health conditions for the commercial production and the placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs (such as oysters ( Crassostrea gigas and Ostrea edulis ), mussels and scallops ( Pecten maximus and Aequipecten opercularis ). It requires the establishment of the location and boundaries of production areas and on the basis of bacteriological criteria, requires the classification of these production areas according to the degree of contamination by faecal indicator bacteria present in samples of mollusc flesh.

5.4. EC Environmental Impact Assessment Directives

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of aquaculture, as part of the application and licensing procedures for development, is the subject of European Union Directives:

Council Directive 85/337/EEC as amended by Council Directive 97/11/EEC. These Directives are concerned with the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, which includes aquaculture in Annex II, reinforcing the need for certain projects to undergo compulsory EIA, mostly depending upon scale, intensity and local conditions.

5.5. EC Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive

The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (SEA) (2001/42/EC) was adopted in 2001. The Directive ensures that environmental consequences of certain plans and programmes are identified and assessed during their preparation and before their adoption. SEA will contribute to more transparent planning by involving the public and by integrating environmental considerations. This will help to achieve the goal of sustainable development. SEA may be an incremental development of EIA, but it is without prejudice to any requirements under the EIA Directives. The Directive requires that environmental assessment be carried out for projects listed in the Directive, including fisheries, which are likely to have significant environmental effects.

5.6. EC Species and Habitats Directive and Wild Birds Directive

The Species and Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Wild Birds Directive (79/ 409/EEC) concern the protection and conservation of natural habitats. Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s) and Special Protection Areas (SPA’s), are designated to protect

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habitats and species of conservation importance. Both Directives take an holistic approach and are concerned with the integrity of ecosystem characteristics and the protection of natural biodiversity. Both Directives will lead to the development of Natura 2000 sites and thus the protection of habitat integrity. A single management scheme for each site may be necessary. This is drawn up by the competent or relevant authority and will ensure that habitat integrity and favourable conservation status of species and habitats are not compromised. The Directives include a consideration of assimilative capacity, i.e., they acknowledge that receiving areas can accept activities without undue effects. Thus aquaculture, along with other activities, will be permitted on the condition that it does not compromise the integrity and status of designated areas. However, where aquaculture activities are within these protected sites or adjacent to and thus likely to affect such sites, then additional restrictions on environmental impacts are anticipated (Elliott et al., 1999) .

5.7. EC Water Framework Directive

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC), like the Species and Habitats Directive, takes an holistic approach, which is aimed at the maintenance of the integrity of the ecosystem characteristics. The WFD requires the development of Catchment Man- agement Plans as means of integrated management. These will contain defined environ- mental objectives to promote ‘‘good status’’ within the catchments. The WFD places emphasis on ecological status, which is defined as the ‘‘quality of the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems associated with surface waters’’. Good status is the second of five quality classes and is the minimum requirement for all waters by 2010. Such quality will be achieved through the control of water contaminants from human activities. In the context of marine aquaculture, the Shellfish Growing Waters Directive and the Dangerous Substances Directive will be integrated into the WFD and, in regulating marine aquaculture, Member States will be required to ensure compliance with these Directives in coastal and territorial waters. Compliance will be achieved through a combined approach including Emission Limit Values, Environmental Quality Standards and the application of a Best Available Technology approach. In terms of biological contaminants, such as genetically modified or selected individuals from farmed stock, the WFD has a similar approach to the Habitats Directive, which aims to protect natural biodiversity (Read et al., 2001c) . In fact, state that the WFD ‘‘no deterioration’’ provisions should prove beneficial Foster and Griffiths (2000)for existing sites of high conservation value. In this context, areas can be designated as ‘‘protected areas’’ in order to allow a higher level of protection for waters requiring a special level of attention. As with the Species and Habitats Directive, the WFD includes a consideration of assimilation capacity of water bodies.

5.8. EC Directives affecting the marketing of veterinary medicinal products

EC Directives and Regulations pertaining to the marketing of veterinary medicinal products establish Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and Marketing Authorisations (MAs) for chemicals administered to fish.

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5.9. EC ICZM Resolutions and Communications

EC Resolutions, Communications and Decisions pertaining to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) will establish a series of recommendations that would improve the management and integration of aquaculture within the management of the whole coastal zone. It is still too early to predict what the exact regulatory mechanisms for the management of coastal zones will be at European level, although recent progress has been made. Nevertheless, it is clear that some kind of management model (voluntary or statutory) is likely to be implemented sooner or later in coastal areas where different demands on the coast exist (Fernandes and Read, 2001) .

5.10. International Conventions directly relevant to the environmental impact of marine aquaculture

International Conventions directly relevant to the environmental impact of aquaculture have been reviewed by Davies (2001) . These conventions comprise: the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic; the Helsinki Convention (HELCOM) for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area and The Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution. The most important outcome from the OSPAR system affecting marine aquaculture is known as PARCOM Recommendation 94/6 on ‘‘Best Environmental Practice for the Reduction of Inputs of Potentially Toxic Chemicals from Aquaculture Use’’. The formulation of this Recommendation was stimulated by the perception that chemicals used in mariculture, such as antimicrobial agents, parasiticides (sea lice control chemicals) and antifoulants, posed a threat to the quality of the marine environment. The clauses are generally targeted at measures to maintain good fish health (thereby reducing the need for medicines), to reduce the use of toxic substances, to establish approval systems for fish medicines and monitoring of residues of chemicals in fish at market, and to limit the release of toxic antifoulants to the sea. The Helsinki Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area also recommends a structure of Best Available Technology (BAT) and Best Environmental Practice (BEP) designed to limit the pollution from fish farms in the Baltic Sea and in adjacent coastal areas where discharges enter the Baltic Sea. It is probable that The Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution will, in due course, also address marine aquaculture as has happened with OSPAR and HELCOM.

6. Codes of conduct and codes of best practice

Linked to legislative and regulatory measures, institutional measures such as Codes of Conduct and Codes of Practice have been and are being established at international, national and Aquaculture Producer Association level as mechanisms of self-regulation. At an international level, The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

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(FAO) adopted a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995 and this code was expanded in 1997 to include aquaculture development. The detailed articles of the code that specifically concern aquaculture invoke responsibility through control and regulatory actions (Hough, 2001) . The creation of Codes of Conduct and Practice has also been actively pursued on a worldwide scale, in keeping with the regulatory recommendations of PARCOM Recommendation 94/6. It is recognised that these voluntary measures, if used responsibly by Producers Associations, can exercise restraints that lead to significant quality control. This is a powerful motivational force linked to necessity to gain competitive advantage, one form of which resides in product quality assurance. Codes of Conduct comprise a set of general rules and principles that should lead to the responsible and sustained development of the industry. Codes of Practice provide practical guidelines for aquaculture to avoid causing pollution and give recommendations on practices that optimise the environmental management of the operations. They take into account best available methods, techniques, strains, optimal feeding regimes, environ- mental sustainability, welfare of the animals and other issues related to aquaculture (Fernandes et al., 2002) . At a European level, the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP), an international body composed of the national aquaculture associations responsible for fish farming in Europe, believes firmly in the need for strong self-regulation of the industry. To this end, FEAP has established a voluntary code of conduct. The prime goal for this is to establish a common base for sectoral responsibility within society as a whole, by means of self-regulation. The Code also demonstrates the attitudes of its members towards the fish they rear, towards the environment and the consumer. The Code of Conduct is, importantly, accompanied by proactive actions within the sector such as Codes of Practice, Manage- ment Schemes, Quality Schemes, and labelling and certification schemes (Hough, 2001) .

7. A strategy for the management of marine aquaculture

Strategies for the management of marine aquaculture within EU Member States are expressed through legal and regulatory frameworks and through voluntary Codes of Conduct and Practice. These regulations and codes address planning and site licensing issues, environmental and product quality standards and monitoring and auditing regimes. Such frameworks and codes are built up in response to EU and international requirements as well as in response to national needs, and they aim to protect the consumer and the environment whilst facilitating the maintenance and development of the aquaculture industry. In order to illustrate the approach of EU Member States to the development of strategies for the management of marine aquaculture, the regulation and monitoring of marine aquaculture in Scotland is reviewed here and critically evaluated in relation to its future development.

7.1. Licensing procedures for siting and planning

Marine fish farming in Scotland is currently not subject to planning control because the geographical limits to planning control do not currently extend below the low water mark.

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The key form of regulation over the siting of these developments is currently the process associated with an application for a site lease from the Crown Estate Commission (CEC), whose role is to maintain and enhance the value of the Crown Estate, including the territorial seabed (Crown Estate, 2002) . This regulation of aquaculture sites involves the application Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as appropriate (see below) and the application of Locational Guidelines (see below). It is the intention of the Scottish Executive to extend planning controls below the low water mark to take account of marine finfish and shellfish farming developments, with the planning powers implemented by Local Authorities. Until this is achieved, an interim

arrangement is in operation that gives Local Authorities a stronger role in the consideration of development applications by the CEC (Scottish Executive, 2002) . Different arrange- ments apply in Orkney and in Shetland, where the respective Councils exercise controls over marine fish farms in their capacity as Harbour Authorities (Shetland Salmon Farmers Association, 2002) . Although there are no planning controls at present, Environmental Impact Assessment

is an integral part of the process for considering applications for marine fish farm leases.

The EC Directives on EIA seek to ensure that where a development is likely to have

significant effects on the environment, the potential effects are systematically addressed in

a formal environmental statement. Compliance with EC EIA Directives in Scotland is

achieved through The Environmental Impact Assessment (Fish Farming in Marine Waters) Regulations 1999 (Crown Estate, 2002) . These apply in respect of proposed new developments and in respect of renewal or modifications of existing leases: in sensitive areas, those designed to hold a biomass of 100 tons or more, or that cover an area in excess of 0.1 ha of the surface area of marine waters, including structures or excavations (Scottish Executive, 1999) . The Regulations do not apply to shellfish developments. The ‘‘relevant’’ authorities for the purposes of these EIA Regulations are the Crown Estate Commis- sioners, Shetland Islands Council or Orkney Islands Council. The interim arrangements for regulating the siting of fish farm developments are accompanied by non-statutory interim procedures in the form of Locational Guidelines (Scottish Executive, 1999) . These provide guidance on the factors to be taken into account when considering proposals for new fish farms or modifications to existing operations and for establishing the national context for the preparation of non-statutory marine fish farming framework plans for guiding the location of future marine fish farms. They are a first attempt at applying a precautionary approach to fish farming in coastal areas considered to be at risk from nutrient release and the impact of organic matter on the

seabed, and requiring protection on the basis of natural heritage resource. The guidelines currently provide criteria for categorising coastal areas in terms of their relative suitability for further fish farming development. The guidelines establish three categories: where the development of new or the expansion of existing marine fish farms will only be acceptable

in exceptional circumstances; where the prospects for further substantial developments are

likely to be limited although there may be potential for modifications of existing operations or limited expansion of existing sites particularly where proposals will result in an overall reduction in environmental effect; and where there appear to be better prospects of satisfying environmental requirements, although the detailed circumstances will always need to be examined carefully.

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Regulation and monitoring of aquaculture in Scotland has been reviewed by Hender- son and Davies (2000) . Detailed accounts of marine environmental monitoring in relation to aquaculture are also presented in Fernandes et al. (2001 , 2002) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) (1998) . Compliance with International Conven- tions, e.g. OSPAR, European Commission Directives, e.g. The Dangerous Substance Directive, and national requirements for the protection of the environment from marine aquaculture operations is achieved in Scotland primarily through three Acts of Parliament. Cage fish farming came under pollution regulation in 1989 by virtue of the Water Act 1989 primarily functioning under, and by virtue of, The Control of Pollution Act 1974. The Environment Act 1995 promotes the cleanliness of tidal waters, the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty and amenity of coastal waters, and the conservation of aquatic flora and fauna. It specifically defines the effluent from fish farming as trade effluent and creates an offence to cause or knowingly permit any trade effluent to be discharged into controlled waters. A Consent to Discharge (licence) is issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in respect of cage fish farming (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . The Consent, which may be numeric or descriptive, provides three stages of environ- mental protection: limits risk of unacceptable environmental impact, encourages Best Environmental Practice (BEP), and it is linked to flexible monitoring programmes. The consent setting process takes account of site suitability and environmental usage, i.e. other activities in the water body (e.g. fishery interests, water sports, aesthetics, nature conservation) plus environmental status (e.g. hydrographic character, existing biological, sedimentary and water quality) (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . Setting Consent limits takes account of an Allowable Zone of Effects (AZE) close to the cages where separate conditions may apply. Typically, a consent will include details of the quantities of therapeutants permissible, maximum biomass, location, size and type of cages and species to be farmed (Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 1998) . To date, Consents have not addressed husbandry or management techniques. In setting a Consent to Discharge, statutory consultees of SEPA include the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), who provide comment on issues relevant to the application for Consent to Discharge. These include the dispersive character of each site, water quality issues, the proximity of farms to each other in terms of risk of usage of chemicals and medicines, fisheries issues, conservation issues and fish processing operations. Consideration by SNH of the protection and conservation of natural habitats and species, through the designation of SACs, SPAs and certain other site protections, provides for compliance with the EC Species and Habitats Directive and the EC Wild Birds Directive (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . In many countries, including Scotland, Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOs) are determined and established (e.g. consumer protection, protection of aquatic life) so that the environment can be managed in such a way that these objectives would be achieved. Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) are then set for specific parameters in order that the objectives are attained. These standards are applied by the competent authority in

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regulation. EQSs may be set nationally (European Directives), for example, List I and List

II of the Dangerous Substances Directive, or they may be locally derived from available

data (e.g. sediment quality) to provide operational guidelines. Consent to Discharge limits are set such that EQSs are not breached (Fernandes et al., 2002) . For consenting and controlling the discharge of chemicals and medicines SEPA, has adopted a mathematical modelling approach that ensures the amount of medicine consented does not exceed the

EQS at a site. This modelling builds on previous work by SEERAD Fisheries Research Services (Henderson et al., 2001). Therefore, quality standards are now implicit within any process of regulation, enforcement and quality control. They are believed to be necessary

to protect the consumer, the environment and also the product (finfish or shellfish).

In many countries, effective monitoring programmes require standards against which to measure quality, success, or effectiveness (Fernandes et al., 2002) . Inherent within the EQO/EQS approach is the concept of a mixing zone where standards may be expected to be breached. In relation to cage fish farming, SEPA uses an AZE for both sediments and the water column, where background standards or criteria may be expected to be breached. For salmon cages, SEPA has defined the extent of this zone and criteria to be achieved within it and uses it operationally in reviewing monitoring data and determining action (Fernandes et al., 2002) . Monitoring programmes are in place to ensure effective regulation. Shellfish farms are not monitored for environmental impact under existing legislation, but are monitored in other respects. Monitoring by SEPA is routinely carried out at cage fish farms to ensure compliance with Consent to Discharge, ensure EQSs and other standards are being met,

measure effects on the environment, determine any action to be taken and audit the results

of self monitoring (Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 1998) . For logistic

reasons, there is a substantial reliance on self-monitoring by the operators, with planned

and random site inspections to audit the process. In this context, there is an urgent need for increased monitoring to assess environmental impact, validate predictive models and standards, and determine illegal use of chemicals, and for increased auditing of self- monitoring by operators. Environmental monitoring strategies are usually aimed at localised and midfield effects. Far field issues are the subject of much debate and research development. The results form part of consent compliance testing. Strategies vary but usually involve the acquisition or provision of chemical, biological and/or physical data for pre-operational development assessment, post development impact or assessing site recovery (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s key areas of concern are increased nutrients that may result in increased phytoplankton populations in certain high risk areas

of poor flushing characteristics, dissolved oxygen (DO) depletion in deep basins in lochs

that are naturally low in DO, medicines and chemicals that may accumulate in sediments or be transported into the far field, antifoulant treatments that may result in excessive

levels of copper and zinc in localised sediments and receiving waters from net washers, and organic waste deposition causing gross biological and sediment degradation (Hen- derson and Davies, 2000) . In addition to the legislation referred to above, and its implementation for the management of the environmental impact of marine aquaculture through a system of

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EQOs, EQSs and Consents to Discharge, there are a number of Acts and regulations that ensure compliance with other specific international, European and national requirements. Chemicals administered to fish as medicines, in feed or bath treatments, are regulated under the Medicines Act 1968 and the Marketing Authorisations for Medicinal Products Regulations 1994, which facilitate compliance with a series of EC Directives and Regulations that affect the marketing of veterinary medicinal products. Before a medicine is used on food fish in the EU it should have a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) issued by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency and a Marketing Authorisation (MA) for use on fish issued by the appropriate national authority (Costello et al., 2001). In Scotland and the rest of the UK, the Government is advised by the Veterinary Products Committee with support from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). Medicines that are not authorised for use on farmed fish can be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon where treatment is found to be necessary on welfare grounds and all other authorised alternatives are either not effective or unavailable. Under the appropriate legislation, the illegal use of unauthorised medicines and substances is regulated by the VMD. The monitoring of residues of chemicals in tissues is an important element in the detection of illegal usage and concentrations are compared against MRLs (Costello et al., 2001) . Antifoulant cage chemicals are classified as pesticides. All pesticides sold, supplied, stored, used or advertised in the UK, including Scotland, must be approved under the Control of Pesticide Regulations, 1986. The registration process is undertaken by Government Departments. The Health and Safety Executive has responsibility for the approval of antifouling products. In terms of environmental standards, the application of an EQS approach to antifouling agents used on fish cages is still under development (Costello et al., 2001) . However, copper is a list II substance under the terms of the EC Dangerous Substances Directive and its concentration in waters out with the AZE must comply with the national EQS for this metal (Henderson and Davies, 2000; Costello et al., 2001) . Under the terms of the EU Shellfish Growing Waters Directive, Member States are required to monitor for a suite of contaminants in shellfish flesh and shellfish growing waters in locations that have been designated as needing protection or improvement in order to contribute to the high quality of shellfish products directly edible by man. Compliance with defined standards in terms of persistent substances, trace metals and faecal indicator organisms is required. In Scotland, the Surface Waters (Shellfish) (Scot- land) Regulations, 1997 ensure compliance with the Directive. The monitoring and reporting is carried out by SEPA (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . The EC Shellfish Directive concerns the regulation of the quality of waters where shellfish are grown for commercial harvesting, and it lays down health conditions for marketing live bivalve molluscs. The location and boundaries of production areas must be fixed and classified according to the degree of contamination with faecal indicator bacteria. In the UK, including Scotland, The Food Safety (Fishery Products and Live Shellfish) (Hygiene) Regulations, 1998 ensure compliance with the Directive. The Food Safety Regulations also stipulate the levels of algal toxins permitted in products placed on the market for human consumption, and also requires monitoring of the occurrence of the toxins and for the presence of the causative organisms. The Food Standards Agency (Scotland) (FSA) is the competent authority for compliance with the EC Shellfish

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Directive, for biotoxins and for end product quality, although the monitoring is undertaken on behalf of FSA by SEERAD Fisheries Research Services (Henderson and Davies, 2000) . The FSA has extensive powers under the legislation including the closure of fisheries where biotoxin levels exceed standards and to prohibit harvesting of shellfish where microbiological standards are exceeded.

7.3. Voluntary codes of practice, management agreements and quality schemes

Scottish Quality Salmon is a quality led membership organisation established to offer whole chain assurance from fish feed company to salmon farmer to smoker and producer. Membership is strictly dependent on adherence to independently inspected and internationally accredited quality standards encompassing fish health and welfare, production processes, product quality and environmental consideration (Scottish Quality Salmon, 2002) . Scottish Quality Salmon Codes of Practice are mandatory for all members in respect of the following issues: avoidance and minimisation of infectious salmon anaemia; national strategy for the control of sea lice; environmental management systems; containment of farmed fish; and predatory wildlife (Scottish Quality Salmon, 2002) . Scottish Quality Salmon, together with the Scottish Executive and organisations concerned with the maintenance of healthy wild fish stocks, have also been instrumental in the development of Area Management Agreements and Area Management Groups. These voluntary groups provide a forum in which information can be exchanged and ideas developed. They are concerned with three key areas: the development and implementation of measures for the restoration and maintenance of healthy fish stocks of wild and farmed fish by addressing issues such as environmental standards, husbandry practices, disease treatments, fallowing and rotation, and locational issues; the development of ideas for the regeneration of depleted wild salmon and sea-trout stocks by addressing such issues as prioritising river systems in most trouble, designing procedures to develop restoration, and preparation of brood stock programmes; and examination of how these ideas could be incorporated into planning guidelines, framework plans and consent procedures (Associ- ation of Salmon Fisheries Boards, 2002) .

8. Key environmental concerns pertaining to the impact and regulation of marine aquaculture in Scotland

The regulation and monitoring of marine aquaculture in Scotland has adapted and grown with the industry through a period of ever increasing debate about the impact that the development of the industry has had on the environment. In broad terms the areas of debate can be summarised as follows: the impact of salmon farming on the marine environment, in particular, the effects of nutrient release on marine ecosystems and the environmental impacts of medicinal chemicals used to treat sea lice; the possibility that salmon farming, through its contribution to the nutrient enrichment of coastal waters, may be a causative factor in the occurrence of toxic algal blooms and, therefore, associated with amnesic, diuretic and paralytic shellfish poison toxins in the shellfish that have accumu-

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lated toxic algae; and the impact of salmon farming on wild fish stocks, in particular, the transfer of diseases (most notably parasitic sea lice) and the genetic interaction between escaped farmed fish and wild fish.

8.1. The capacity of the environment to assimilate aquaculture

Assimilative Capacity is defined as the ability of an area to maintain a ‘‘healthy’’ environment and ‘‘accommodate’’ wastes (GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/ WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection), 1986) . A considerable amount of research has been carried out nationally and internationally into the assimilative capacity of coastal waters in relation to aquaculture. Mathematical modelling approaches have been used in an effort to determine assimilative capacity and some of the models are currently in use in Scotland by SEPA for establishing and setting discharge consents in respect of chemicals, medicines and nutrients, and for predicting environmental concentrations of substances in relation to the establishment of EQSs (Henderson et al., 2001) . However, considerably more modelling research needs to be undertaken on a region by region basis in order to achieve a more complete evaluation of the assimilative capacity of Scottish coastal waters (Black, 2002a) . There is also an urgent need for increased monitoring of concentrations of nutrients, chemicals and medicines in order to validate predictive models. The issue of defining assimilative capacity for aquaculture in terms of nutrients is complicated by the fact that it is difficult to distinguish inputs of nutrients from cage fish farming from diffuse inputs like forestry and agriculture. Thus there is a need for an holistic approach to the management of coastal pollution, particularly with regard to modelling nutrients and defining assimilative capacity (SEPA, 2002) . It is now considered that the strategy for the management of the environmental impact of aquaculture in Scotland and the regulatory framework in support of that strategy should incorporate the determination of the assimilative capacity of sea lochs and coastal waters (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . The determination of assimilative capacity should be restricted to chemical and biological parameters such that a scientific modelling approach can be applied to its determination. Such parameters should include chemicals, medicines and nutrients and also sea lice. Furthermore, the concept of assimilative capacity should be used in setting consents for aquaculture operations. To this end it is proposed that provision be made for more and better research into the assimilative capacity of coastal waters and for SEPA to take an holistic approach to the regulation of coastal waters and a broader approach to setting of discharge consents (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . As stated previously, it has been argued that, in terms of nutrients, the assimilative capacity of some Scottish sea lochs and coastal areas has been exceeded with consequent occurrence of harmful blooms and increased production of toxins by certain algae. The history of Scottish harmful algal blooms has been reviewed by Tett and Edwards (2002) . Their assessment is that the greatest recent concern relates to Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning, caused by the diatom of the genus Pseudo-nitzchia. Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning, caused mainly by dinoflagellates of the genus Dinophysis , and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, caused by dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium , are also endemic. All these have resulted in the closure of shellfisheries. Toxic Red Tides and similar blooms of

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Gyrodinium -like dinoflagellates seem to have become less common but remain a hazard to fish farms. As stated previously, Tett and Edwards (2002) indicate that explanations for the occurrence of organisms causing shellfish poisoning will probably be intrinsic features of the biology and ecology of these organisms rather than the effect of nutrient enrichment. Nevertheless, the Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into Aquaculture (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) considers that there is not, as yet, a body of evidence which can fully explain the occurrence of organisms causing shellfish poisoning. Accordingly, it is concluded that there is a need for further research in this area.

8.2. Licensing, planning and siting

It is recognised that the current interim licensing arrangements for planning and siting of fish farm developments are unsatisfactory (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . It is agreed that planning control will be extended below the low water mark, and the planning arrangements for fish farming will mirror land based planning with modifications to tailor the planning regime to the marine environment. Concurrently, planning powers for aquaculture developments will be transferred to Local Government Authorities in line with other planning powers, for which there will be appropriate provision of expertise, resources and training. Associated with this transfer will be the development of National Planning Policy Guidelines for aquaculture in order to ensure both national consistency and local flexibility (Scottish Executive, 2002) . It is also proposed that existing fish farm leases will be brought within the new planning regime through a combination of natural expiry lease dates together with final cut off dates, and that inappropriately sited farms, e.g. farms exceeding the assimilative capacity or in proximity to estuaries important for migration of wild fish, will be relocated (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . Most fish farming developments currently trigger the Environmental Impact Assess- ment (Fish Farming in Marine Waters) Regulations 1999. However, it is proposed that Environmental Statements will, in future, be appropriate for both the planning authorities (Local Government Authorities) and the environment regulatory authorities (SEPA) and will be submitted to both authorities simultaneously at the time of application for development, extension or modification. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the EIA process for aquaculture will be standardised and made more rigorous by requiring mandatory screening and scoping, consideration of the cumulative and wider environ- mental impacts of aquaculture and in respect of the information required by SEPA for decisions relating to environmental consent (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c). Locational Guidelines were a first attempt at applying a precautionary approach to licensing, planning and siting for fish farming in coastal areas in Scotland. They address coastal areas considered to be at risk of nutrient enrichment and requiring protection on the basis of natural heritage resource. The guidelines currently provide criteria for categorising coastal areas in terms of their relative suitability for further fish farming development (Scottish Executive, 1999) . It is now recognised that there is considerable scope for widening and strengthening the Locational Guidelines and they will be reviewed in their entirety in 2002 (Scottish Executive, 2002; Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . It is anticipated that the review of Locational Guidelines will address a need for increased transparency in terms of criteria and categorisation. Furthermore, it is anticipated

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the revised guidelines will take account of: the assimilative capacity of sea lochs and other coastal waters; the potential for the re-location of inappropriately sited fish farms (see above); the impacts of fish farming on other users of coastal waters; the need for differentiation between the impacts of, and scientific risks associated with, differing fin fish species; the relatively benign nature of shellfish farming; the need for better integration of shellfish farming and fin fish farming; and the relationship between the guidelines and the planning system. There are compelling arguments for the locational guidelines to be consistent with the principles and practice of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) . An ICZM approach would encourage the bringing together of various interests within the coastal zone, in order to set out consistent planning arrangements and common objectives, which can be used to resolve conflicts between conflicting resource users. The European Commission is still considering what detailed form any proposals for ICZM might take. However, it is likely that the move towards ICZM will require some type of management model to be established in coastal areas where there are conflicting demands on natural resources (Fernandes and Read, 2001) . Once firm proposals are established, the longer term objective for Locational Guidelines should be full implementation of ICZM (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c).

8.3. Best environmental practice

Typically, Discharge Consents, issued by SEPA, include details of quantities of medicines permissible, maximum biomass, location, size and type of cages and species to be farmed (Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 1998) . To date, Consents have not addressed husbandry or management techniques. It is proposed that in the future SEPA be given more flexibility in the way it regulates the environmental impacts of fish farming. Specifically, it is proposed that SEPA be empowered to regulate the process of fish farming rather than just the end of process discharge (Scottish Executive, 2002) . Furthermore, it is stated by the Scottish Parliament (2002a,c) that there should be statutory provision for enforcing environmental management practices and requirements to comply with Best Available Technology. By adopting this approach, Best Environmental Practice would be promoted through licence conditions and general regulations rather than leaving the application of BAT to the industry through its own Codes of Conduct and Practice. Other issues which have been identified by the Scottish Parliament (2002a,c) for consideration in relation to the adoption of BEP are: more robust monitoring and auditing of compliance with planning conditions, consent licences and quality standards; promotion of BAT in order to minimise escapes; and the legal underpinning of Area Management Agreements and Area Management Groups for the collective management of marine aquaculture.

8.4. Synchronised management regimes and the control of salmonid sea lice

Sea lice are crustacean parasites of salmonid fish causing disease in both wild and farmed stocks. High levels of sea lice infection can occur in farmed stocks, and there is evidence to suggest that these reservoirs of infection can give rise to high levels of sea lice larvae within sea lochs and coastal waters thereby leading to high levels of infection

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in wild stocks. Whilst acknowledging that the global decline in the abundance of salmon and sea trout ( Salmo trutta) is driven in part by changes in world climate, the view has been expressed that the unprecedented changes in the abundance and structure of salmonid stocks in north –west Scotland are a consequence of sea lice infection (Shelton, 2002) . It is widely recognised that sea lice are not easily controlled, partly due to the need to control sea lice by way of medicines, which must in themselves be regulated due the impact of these chemicals on the environment. Salmon farmers monitor sea lice numbers on farmed fish in order to determine when chemical treatments for their control should be applied. However, the level of lice that can be tolerated on farmed fish is considerably higher than the level that would represent a danger to wild fish (Shelton, 2002) . The view has been expressed that lice infection in farmed fish should be regulated and controlled at a level that would reduce infection in wild stocks (Scottish Parliament, 2002b) . This would require an understanding of the relationship between sea lice infection in farmed stocks and sea lice infection in wild stocks and the establishment of maximum levels of sea lice infection, or maximum sea lice burdens, for farmed fish. Such maximum sea lice burdens would then require enforcement through surveillance by the regulatory authority. A maximum burden for sea lice has been set in countries such as Norway and Ireland. Ireland currently utilises trigger levels for lice levels (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,b) . This ensures that when triggers levels are reached, treatment is carried out. However, while it is easy to establish trigger levels for the protection of farmed fish, there is insufficient scientific knowledge to establish trigger levels to protect wild stocks (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,b) . Furthermore, the implicit increase in the use of medicines for sea lice treatment will have an environmental impact. The use of in-feed lice treatments is environmentally less harmful, but at the present time, these are not a complete substitute for bath treatments (Black, 2002b) . The benefits of imposing sea lice burdens remain unclear and it is suggested that, in Scotland, regulators be empowered to set sea lice burdens, but that these should not be utilised until such time as epidemiological modelling demonstrates that the establishment of meaningful burdens would be possible and beneficial (Scottish Parlia- ment, 2002a,c) . Additional to the use of medicines, there are management regimes that assist in the control of sea lice and other diseases. These include synchronised production, fallowing and disease treatment. In this context, consideration is being given to phasing in a regulatory requirement for synchronised management in all Scottish sea lochs and coastal waters (Scottish Parliament, 2002a) .

8.5. Prevention or reduction of the interaction between farmed and wild fish

As stated previously, the locally adaptive features of populations are at risk from interbreeding with non local aquaculture fish, and wild populations, generally, are at risk from interactions with aquaculture fish that have been subject to artificial selection or domestication (Youngson et al., 2001) . In order to reduce this problem in Scotland, there will be a requirement for the compulsory notification of escaped fish, although it is not the intention, at the present time, to impose penalties on farmers for escapes (Scottish Executive, 2002) . However, the

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Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into Aquaculture (Scottish Parliament, 2002a,c) considered that there should be a more proactive approach to this problem by the Scottish Executive. This should include promotion of the use and development of BAT to minimise the problem. Furthermore, alternative measures for reducing the impact of escaped farmed fish on wild stocks should be examined. These measures should include tagging farmed fish to enable sources of escapes to be traced with associated penalties, reproductive sterility of farmed fish to eliminate the genetic potential of escaped fish and measures for the recovery of escaped stock.

8.6. The development of alternative fish feed diets

As stated previously, in terms of fish food provision, the sustainability of farming some marine species is in doubt given the current approaches to the feeding of farmed stocks. However, there are, currently, a number of initiatives aimed at reducing this problem.

These include: the use of sustainably managed fisheries for fish feed supply, substitution of

a proportion of fish oils with vegetable oils, selection of broodstock more capable of

converting less beneficial oils found in plants to more desirable fish oils, and the use of ‘‘discards’’ and ‘‘black fish’’ from traditional capture fisheries for fish meal (Richards, 2002) .

9. Conclusion

The EU and EU Member States that have a significant aquaculture industry have developed policies and sophisticated and complex regulatory and voluntary frameworks for the management and control of the environmental impacts of aquaculture. Neverthe-

less, it is widely recognised that a number of significant environmental issues remain to be resolved. This can best be achieved through the application of the best available science and technology, the application of the best available experience and expertise and the harmonisation of regulatory, control and monitoring efforts through the adoption of Codes of Best Environmental Practice. A number of collaborative projects and programmes of work have been directed at this goal and there has been some success, e.g. ICES, MARAQUA and OAERRE. However, more still needs to be achieved, particularly in relation to nutrient enrichment of coastal waters and assimilative capacity, the occurrence

of toxic algal blooms, genetic interaction between farmed and wild stocks, the discharge of

medicinal chemicals and the sustainability of fish food. It is significant that the recent ministerial declaration of the fifth international conference on the protection of the North Sea identifies environmental issues relating to marine aquaculture (Bergen Declaration, 2002). The declaration notes that the aquaculture sector will require specific actions in order to ensure full integration of environmental protection requirements. It acknowledges the guidelines developed by the North Atlantic Salmon Organisation to minimise escapes and the Organisation’s plan of action for habitat protection and restoration. It also invites competent authorities to develop and implement the guidelines given in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the field of aquaculture, in particular on the reduction of environmental impact.

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Acknowledgements

Aspects of this critical review were funded as part of a ‘‘Concerted Action’’ project during 1999 and 2000 under the European Union FAIR (aquaculture) research programme. The Concerted Action was entitled MARAQUA and was concerned with the ‘‘Monitoring and Regulation of Marine Aquaculture in Europe’’ (contract number FAIR PL98-4300). The authors of this report acknowledge the contribution made to this work by the membership of MARAQUA and the funding and support provided by the European Union FAIR Programme.

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