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Several options exist to introduce ecological engineering tools for treating and reducing waste discharges from aquaculture activities into the environment, moving toward a more balanced ecosystem approach. However, the main direction for managing waste discharges from aquaculture is still the illusion of dilution. The intense use of coastal zones by aquaculture requires the transformation of these discharges and their exportation to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability. IMTA appears as a possible solution to not only treat organic particulate and inorganic dissolved nutrients, but also produces other valuable crops, which, when harvested, participate in removing the converted nutrients from the coastal seas. The integration of IMTA activities into coastal zone management will require not only the demonstration of its economic feasibility, but also public acceptance through education and government actions for developing appropriate regulations taking into consideration the services provided by extractive species.

See also: Multitrophic Integration for Sustainable Marine Aquaculture.

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