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Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7482-7495; doi:10.3390/su6117482

Marine Ecological Footprint of Italian Mediterranean Fisheries

1
Department of Management, Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Salento, Via per Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
2
Faculty of Economics, LUM University, Jean Monnet S.S. 100 km 18, Casamassima 70010, Italy
3
Faculty of Economics, University of Split, Cvite Fiskovića 5, 21000 Split, Croatia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 9 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
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Abstract

The capacity of marine and coastal ecosystems to sustain seafood production and consumption is seldom accounted for and is not included in the signals that guide economic development. In this article, we review estimates of marine and coastal areas aimed at sustaining catches for seafood consumption. The aim of this paper is the assessment of the interactions between the environment, intended as a set of ecological subsystems in natural equilibrium, including the marine ecosystem, and the process of fisheries systems. In particular we analyze fisheries in Italy, which is the third biggest economy and the greatest consumer of seafood in the Eurozone, conducting an in-depth analysis of the Marine Ecological Footprint (MEF) that evaluates the marine ecosystem area exploited by human populations to supply seafood and other marine products and services. The positioning of Italian fisheries shows a level of sustainability next to the threshold value. The analysis in the present study highlights the importance of absolute indicators in providing rough estimates about human dependence on ecological systems and recognizes the importance of those indicators, such as the Marine Footprint (expressed in % of Primary Production Required/Primary Production), in ensuring a high level of precision and accuracy in quantifying human activity impact on the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine ecological footprint; fish; Italy marine ecological footprint; fish; Italy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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de Leo, F.; Miglietta, P.P.; Pavlinović, S. Marine Ecological Footprint of Italian Mediterranean Fisheries. Sustainability 2014, 6, 7482-7495.

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