Eutrophication in the coastal waters of the northern part of the Swedish west coast is causing structural and functional changes to the coastal ecosystems. Large-scale mussel farming is proposed in the Program of Measures, required by the EU Water Framework Directive to reduce the nutrients in the coastal water and improve water quality over a transition period of 10–20 years. Ownership, land parcelling, conflicts of interest, and the protection of coastal water are obstructing accessibility to suitable water areas for the establishment of mussel farming plants. This paper studies the obstacles and possibilities in the relevant laws and legal regulations governing the accessibility to coastal waters for large-scale mussel farming. Alternative ways to solve the problem are shown and discussed, within the framework of the Planning and Building Act, the Environmental Code and the laws concerning land-parceling and property. It is shown that the Planning and Building Act, when used in a proper manner, can provide useful instruments for society to gain access to coastal water for mussel farming plants with the purpose of improving the ecological status of the water.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2