Author: Izaskun Zorita, Manuel González, Oihana Solaun, José Germán Rodríguez, Marta Revilla, Leire Arantzamendi, Luis Ferrer, Almudena Fontán, Yolanda Sagarminaga, Joana Larreta, Joxe Mikel Garmendia
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In order to provide a complementary economic alternative to the fishing sector of the Basque Country during periods of low activity, the development of sustainable aquaculture of bivalve molluscs in open sea waters of the Basque coast was proposed more than a decade ago. This objective was part of a wider context of global decline in catches, accompanied by an increasing demand for marine protein and the need to protect the oceans. This article details the lines of research on which AZTI has been working since then, to respond to the major challenges that could face a future aquaculture sector of the Basque coast: 1) monitoring and control of the production area, 2) diversification of production and 3) solutions for sustainable production. Thus, we intend to summarize the main findings of the work carried out so far, which are published both in scientific journals and in AZTI technical reports, and which may be useful to identify future steps towards a better management of these areas, not only in the Basque Country, but also in other places where there may be interest in a similar development of the aquaculture sector.