Agriculture | Compendium Coast and Sea

Agriculture

Agriculture constitutes an important economic sector in the coastal zone and is, from a historical perspective, responsible for land reclamation. Agriculture in the European coastal areas (first 10 km) is under spatial pressure resulting in a decreasing agricultural area. Belgium is following the European trend, however a distinction is visible between the coastal- and hinterland communities. Nevertheless, as an integral part of the agro-nutritional system, agriculture remains of significant economic importance with a small increase in Flanders over the last 10 year. Moreover, agriculture has a significant impact on the marine environment due to the run off of nutrients resulting in eutrophication. On the other hand, the marine envrionment is also affecting agriculture by the proces of salinisation. In the ‘Thematic chapter’, an overview is given of the scientific knowledge, socioeconomic data and legal aspects of the user function ‘Agriculture’ for the Belgian coastal zone. The federal and Flemish legislation applicable to this activity is discussed in more detail under ‘Legislation’, while the figures and background data can be consulted in an interactive way by clicking ‘Coastal portal’. More information about the available expertise regarding agriculture in the coastal zone within the Belgian marine research groups and their relevant research infrastructure can be consulted by clicking ‘Research groups’ and ‘Infrastructure’, respectively.