KNOWLEDGE FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL RESOURCES
Human use of resources in coastal waters is causing problems both in the marine environment and in coastal communities. Eutrophication of inshore waters is changing the ecological balance and conditions for plant and animal life in the sea, with a marked impact on fisheries, outdoor recreation and tourism. Overfishing has further shrunk the coastal population’s basis of livelihood.The SUCOZOMA (Sustainable Coastal Zone Management)research programme has contributed to the work of establishing lasting ways of using coastal resources thattake into account both the limits of the ecosystem and the needs of coastal communities.
WHAT HAS THE RESEARCH ACHIEVED?
The research programme comprised 20 different projects in three main areas: integration and interdisciplinary approaches in coastal planning; nutrient loading in coastal zones; and sustainable coastal fisheries. The investigations wereconducted in close cooperation among people in various research disciplines, such as biologists, chemists, social scientists and lawyers. The programme has culminated in a range of practical results and conclusions. For example:
• Coastal fisheries can now be developed by means of selective fishing methods and equipment.
• Methodical management can recreate spawning areas for fish species that have not been regarded as commercially interesting to date.
• The effects of eutrophication can be reduced by mussel farming and new methods of wastewater treatment.
• Enhanced knowledge of political, social and economic conditions in coastal zones can revitalise and democratise administration of, and planning for, sustainable use of coastal resources.
WHO HAS BENEFITED FROM THE RESEARCH?
The results from this research programme have been important primarily for the stakeholders, both local and national, who take part in managing and planning Sweden’s coastal areas. These include not only, for example, coastal municipalities, commercial and amateur fishermen, and central and regional public agencies involved in fisheries, the marine environment and island administration, but also researchers and interested citizens wishing to take part in sustainable management of coastal zones.
Results from SUCOZOMA have served as inspiration and guidance in the joint coastal planningof municipalities in Bohuslän(part of the county of VästraGötaland), especially the ‘Coastal Zone Project’ (Kustzonsprojektet) and the Board of Fisheries’ pilot projects in local management of fishery resources.