avoid confusion and lack of efficiency, and it will be important to involve all stakeholders in assessing different options for MPAs.
Economic benefits and buy in by local communities are essential for the proper functioning of MPAs
One of the key issues in the adoption and implementation of MPAs, and, therefore, resistance to their development, can be the local human populations, that, if not involved from the beginning in the process, can feel displaced, devolved of responsibilities and without jobs. I pointed out that if we want economic development/economic benefits/buy in by and for the local populations, then, some kind of activities should be allowed as long as they are compatible with the goals of an MPA. To my surprise, if some types of aquaculture and fisheries were part of the discussion during the three previous MBI editions I participated in (SĂŁo Paulo in 2016, Monaco in 2017 and Edinburgh in 2018), they appeared to be kind of white elephants (white whales?!) in the room for the 2019 edition of the MBI, until I intervened in the afternoon. I believe that certain types of aquaculture, like integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), and certain types of fisheries, are truly compatible with the objectives, management and governance of MPAs. However, if we want to progress in this discussion, we need to evolve beyond this emotional, negative reaction, so frequent in Europe and North America, where the perception is that aquaculture can only be equated to salmon aquaculture. Aquaculture is needed urgently as food production systems that can be sustainable for providing food and health benefits to an ever-increasing human population. It is important to have in mind that, worldwide, 51.2 percent of mariculture is seaweed aquaculture, 28.7 percent is mollusk aquaculture and 11.2 percent is finfish aquaculture; salmon aquaculture is just a fraction of these 11.2 percent. So, there are aquaculture practices other than salmon aquaculture throughout the world and we should not reject them a priori.
Recognising and valuing the ecosystem services provided
The need to properly estimate the ecosystem services of MPAs was noted by several speakers. The question of how to use these tools to help integrate their values into the blue economy development was raised. It was noted that we are starting to have good data on provisioning services, but that there are still some gaps in the valuation of supporting, regulating and cultural services. I made the point that extractive aquaculture (seaweeds and International Aquafeed - May 2019 | 31