|Shellfish farming and development of CZM in the Marennes Oléron Bay and Charentais sounds (Charente Maritime, France)|
|Goulletquer, P.; Le Moine, O. (2001). Shellfish farming and development of CZM in the Marennes Oléron Bay and Charentais sounds (Charente Maritime, France), in: Burnell, G.M. et al. (Ed.) (2001). Aquaculture and its role in integrated coastal zone management: handbook of contributions and extended abstracts presented at the International Workshop on "Aquaculture and its role in Integrated Coastal Zone Management" Oostende, Belgium, April 19-21, 2001. pp. 103-114|
|In: Burnell, G.M. et al. (Ed.) (2001). Aquaculture and its role in integrated coastal zone management: handbook of contributions and extended abstracts presented at the International Workshop on "Aquaculture and its role in Integrated Coastal Zone Management" Oostende, Belgium, April 19-21, 2001. European Aquaculture Society/Flanders Marine Institute: Oostende. 145 pp., more|
France is presently one of the leading countries in Europe for shellfish production with more than 150,000 metric tons of Pacific cupped oyster C. gigas and 60,000 tons of mussels M. edulis and M. galloprocincialis on a yearly basis. Among the rearing areas, the Charentais sounds and the Bay of Marennes Oleron are leading with an annual production of 40,000 tons and 15,000 tons of oysters and mussels respectively, while more than the 1/3 French production is marketed from the Marennes Oleron area. Since natural C. gigas and M. edulis spatfall is restricted to the Atlantic coastline, Marennes Oleron and the Charentais sounds represents more than half the French oyster and mussel spat production, resulting in a critical role at the national level. Moreover, the stocking biomass was recently estimated to be 125,000 and 20,000 tons of oysters and mussels, respectively. This biomass is deployed over 4,000ha of leasing grounds along the coastal area and 3000ha of wetlands (oyster ponds), which are environmentally sensitive and the target of numerous recent and new regulations. Although a traditional and 100 years' old activity, this industry now should deal with numerous new internal and external constraints which are effecting its overall economic yield and sustainability. These include the management of freshwater inputs into the coastal area, impacted at the watershed level by the agriculture (qualitative approach) and mostly by irrigation activity (quantitative approach). Moreover, with an open market, the Charentais sounds' production must remain competitive against other French and European production sites, while its biological yield remains one of the lowest in France. This has prompted the industry to optimize and restructure their current leasing grounds and assess new management practices as well as new rearing technics (off shore, long lines), therefore leading to spatial conflicts. Besides technical constraints, local, national and European regulations have significantly increased: Coastal law, Water law, Bird Directive, Conservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, protected areas are several of them likely impacting the shellfish industry in the near future. Following an analysis of these internal and external constraints for aquaculture sustainability, a review of case studies in the Charentais sounds leading to users' conflicts is presented. Diversity of habitats, human activities and interests along this coastline leads to highly complex situations where management attempts have been partly successful, while others a total failure. These management options are analysed and on-going new approaches described, including cooperative work among marine biologists, sociologists, economists, managers, coastal users, and shellfish industry. Based on this analysis, requirements to develop an integrated CZM plan along the Charentais sounds are suggested.