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Aspects of Mussel-Farming Activity in Chalastra, Thermaikos Gulf, Greece: An Effort to Untie a Management Gordian Knot

Zoi I. Konstantinou, Division of Hydraulics and Environment, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Yannis N. Krestenitis, Division of Hydraulics and Environment, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Dionysis Latinopoulos, Department of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Kalliopi Pagou, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Institute of Oceanography
Sofia Galinou-Mitsoudi, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki
Yiannis Savvidis, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04455-170101

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Abstract

Small-scale mussel farming in the coastal area of Chalastra (Thermaikos Gulf, Greece) has faced major problems during the last decade due to environmental limitations and to institutional constraints imposed by the absence of local planning and development policies. The aim of our work was to demonstrate crucial aspects of implementing the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) in the area, and more specifically to explain: (a) the key parts of a bioeconomic model that constitutes the basis of a draft management tool, (b) the results of several investigative scenarios examined through the management tool, and (c) the stakeholders’ feedback through the participative procedures. The goal was to evaluate the effects of the SAF implementation on the communication between scientists, policy makers, and local stakeholders. The scenarios refer to alternative farming techniques and different environmental conditions, and examine the effects of institutional deficiencies in qualitative and quantitative ways, regarding the sustainability of the activity. The selection of the scenarios was directed from the need to provide a dialogue platform between the conflicting stakeholders. The results clearly demonstrate the effects of mussel-farming techniques on mussel production, as well as the impacts of environmental conditions, human decisions, and institutional choices on the regional (and individual) economic welfare. In the bottom line, the value of the SAF is demonstrated through the apprehension of the policy issue, its impacts, and the alternative management perspectives, as well as through the establishment of a multidimensional collaboration group for the area, which is essential for the further development of the management tool and the implementation of an integrated management policy.

Key words

integrated management; integrated modeling; mussel farming; stakeholder involvement; Systems Approach Framework (SAF) implementation
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087