A summary of the findings of governance studies of 13 MSP case studies around Europe undertaken as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation of Spatially Managed Marine Areas (MESMA) project was released in January 2014. The analysis found that MSP reality is very different from MSP ideals and theories. A few key points from the summary:
- MSP in the case studies is more about integrated use than implementing EBM, particularly to ensure that MSP provides for, or at least does not obstruct, strategically important infrastructure development projects;
- none of the case studies employed a step-by-step, participative, ecosystem-based MSP process;
- a very top-down approach is followed in all the case studies; and
- some stakeholders, particularly those related to strategically important infrastructure development projects and offshore fishing, adopted a strategy of circumnavigating such participative platforms, instead opting to wield influence at higher political levels.
The full summary can be downloaded at www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfwpej/pdf/MESMAGovernanceFindingsOutline.pdf and includes links to the full reports. A special issue of the journal Marine Policy based on these findings is in preparation.
This Live Chat was an opportunity to discuss these findings and the case studies on which they are based with Dr. Peter JS Jones, lead MESMA governance researcher at University College London, and to ask related questions.