Coastal areas are subject to an increase in competing activities and protection (Natura 2000, Marine Strategy Directive) and are a source of potential conflict for space allocation. COEXIST is a broad, multidisciplinary approach to evaluate these interactions with the ultimate goal to provide a roadmap to better integration, sustainability and synergies among different activities in the coastal zone. 1. The project will study the interactions between capture fisheries and aquaculture and evaluate mutual benefits and possible bottlenecks for concomitant development of these activities in the coastal zone within the context of the ecosystem approach to management. 2. It will propose, develop and evaluate the efficiency of spatial management tools (zoning, closed areas, etc) to promote different forms of coastal aquaculture and fisheries at different scales (e.g. local, regional) and it will exploit mutual opportunities (e.g. artificial reefs, protected areas, wind farms, tourism etc) within a context of competition for space by multiple users. 3. The project will address differences in acceptance of activities (fisheries, aquaculture, and other use of the coastal zone) by the society. 4. A detailed strategy for communication and involvement of stakeholders and for dissemination of results to general and targeted audiences is integrated in the project. By these actions, the project will support the new European Maritime Policy and spatial planning of coastal areas. Case studies, supported by national projects will be used to provide data for further analysis through the integrated work packages This will include detailed comparative analyses and integrated models for the regional seas, as well as a synthesis on the European scale. COEXIST will address interactions on a biological and biogeochemical level, as well as a socio-economic level, and the governance and legal aspects.