Biotechnology, broadly defined, includes any technique that uses living organisms or parts of organisms to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses (OTA, 1984). This definition is the one most commonly used and includes, but is not specifically limited to, techniques such as genetic engineering. The existing and potential applications of biotechnology in coastal lagoons are very wide and include: (1) nutrition, disease management and growth promotion in aquaculture; (2) the culture of specific organisms to produce high value chemicals; (3) environmental management, including the detection, control and management of specific organisms; and (4) waste treatment and environmental remediation. All of these aspects are considered here, but it must be pointed out that none of these applications is unique to coastal lagoons, since they are also of relevance to many other aquatic habitats
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