A major problem associated with marine spatial planning (MSP) involves the difficult and time-consuming practice of creating a scenario that encompasses complex datasets in near real time via the use of a simple spatial analysis method. Moreover, decision-makers require a reliable, user-friendly system to quickly and accessibly acquire accurate spatial planning information. The development of national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI), which links the spatial data of a nation’s many diverse institutions, may pave the way for the development of a tool that can better utilize spatial datasets, such as a spatial decision support system (SDSS). Thus, this project aimed to develop an SDSS for MSP and to evaluate the feasibility of its integration within the NSDI framework. The seaweed culture was selected as an example due to its economic and technological acceptance by traditional fishers. Additionally, a multi-criteria analysis was used to develop the tool. Furthermore, a feasibility evaluation of its implementation within the NSDI framework was conducted based on the Delphi method. The results of the assessment indicated that the SDSS can be incorporated into the NSDI framework by addressing the policy issue – one map policy, updating custodians’ decree and data, and improve the standard and protocol.
Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)
To solve conservation and planning challenges in the marine environment, researchers are increasingly developing geospatial tools to address impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine biodiversity. The paper presents a comprehensive set of built-in geospatial webtools to support Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and environmental management objectives implemented into the Tools4MSP interoperable GeoPlatform. The webtools include cumulative effects assessment (CEA), maritime use conflict (MUC) analysis, MSFD pressure-driven CEA and a CEA-based marine ecosystem service threat analysis (MES-Threat). The tools are tested for the Northern Adriatic (NA) Sea, one of the most industrialized sea areas of Europe using a case study driven modelling strategy. Overall results show that coastal areas within 0–9 nm in the Gulf of Trieste, Grado-Marano and Venice lagoon and Po Delta outlet are subjected to intense cumulative effects and high sea use conflicts mainly from port activities, fishery, coastal and maritime tourism and maritime shipping. Linking MES into CEA provided novel information on locally threatened high MES supporting and provisioning habitats such Cymodocea beds and infralittoral fine sands, threats to cultural MES are most pronounced in coastal areas. Results are discussed for their geospatial relevance for regional planning, resource management and their applicability within MSP and environmental assessment.
Ecological and environmental variables play a major role in the genetic structure of marine populations, but how oceanography affects their dispersal and associated connectivity remains far from being understood. To account for the effect of different dispersal strategies in terms of pelagic larvae and non-pelagic reproduction, we utilize the power of comparative phylogeographic analyses of five phylogenetically and functionally diverse intertidal species along the west coast of South Africa using population genetics and biophysical models within the Benguela Current system. Some broadcast spawners exhibit genetic panmixia, others show genetic structure similar to direct-developing species, suggesting complex recruitment patterns in rocky shore environments. Patterns of genetic structure do not correspond with pelagic larval competency period, with a broadcast spawning urchin displaying the highest levels of population structure. Biophysical models of larval dispersal reveal mixed dispersal patterns, with the strongest connections in a northward direction following the Benguela Current, yet most modeled species also show the capacity for southward (albeit weaker) migration among some sample localities. Some sites, particularly the most northern areas, show very low levels of potential connectivity. Lastly, we synthesized our results to highlight key areas for the development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that capture the evolutionary patterns of marine species of the west coast and find that the results from our molecular and biophysical analyses are coherent with previous suggestions for a network of protected areas.
Policy formation for the marine environment seems to be a central issue for the maritime nations in order to propose a strategic plan for marine spatial governance. The idea of forming a policy is about understanding the action principle among the institutions involved that guides towards an effective decision making process. The analysis that suits into the reformation of policies is the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IAD) that was proposed by Elinor Ostrom, the American political scientist focusing into the institutional behaviours. This paper strives to raise awareness of integrating the concept of Institutional Analysis and Development Framework into the effective practice of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in Malaysia. The integration of social science knowledge into the Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) cycles seems to show a growing number in the past decade and the results obtained are reviewed to ensure the suitability of integrating the idea of Institutional Analysis & Development (IAD) into the Malaysian MSP practice to predict institutional behaviour and relationship for the outcomes.
This paper presents the results of a face-to-face survey of the attitudes of Polish fishermen towards Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). Fishermen's self-assessed knowledge regarding MSP and their expectations were analysed. The conclusion reached shows that, despite similar access to information about MSP, Polish fishermen are less knowledgeable, more sceptical and more fearful of the MSP, than the other stakeholders involved. As a result, better education or more information on MSP would not suffice in making fishermen overcome their scepticism on the planning outcomes. In addition, the governing bodies of MSP should build trust and awareness, stimulate the stakeholders' interests in MSP, and convince the fishermen that MSP is friendly towards this specific sector. These findings did influence the MSP process in Poland, wherein MSP outreach was offered to the targeted groups of fishermen in the form of trust-building measures. A key lesson learned is that a capacity building process should be administered in such a way that the fishermen may easily distinguish it from other governance measures (e.g. under fishery or environment policy). An international component can play an important role in it. In conclusion, a number of observations are proposed with regard to future research on the attitudes of fishermen towards MSP. In particular, greater effort is necessary to better understand the motives of fishermen's scepticism towards the impact of MSP on their sector.
Assessing the stocks and flows of ecosystem services valued by society is crucial to ensure the sustainable management of marine ecosystems, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; EC, 2008). The mapping of these ecosystem services enhances the flow of information from researchers to practitioners, contributing to a better management of ecosystem services. The objective of this paper is twofold. First, a screening and evaluation of available open source spatial databases was conducted to assess their usefulness to map European coastal and marine ecosystem services. Second, these spatial databases were classified according to the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, Status, Impacts, Responses) framework and the MSFD descriptors to assess how this information can inform decision-makers. The supply of explicit spatial information was used as main screening criteria and allowed to identify 581 existing databases. These databases were then categorised according to a set of criteria (including data collection methods and updating frequency) related with their usefulness to be applied to map ecosystem services. The databases that did not meet the selected criteria (e.g. no explicit spatial information) were discarded. This process allowed to identify 329 spatial databases useful for coastal and marine ecosystem services mapping in Europe. The databases were then distinguished based on the ability to work the data on a GIS software, identifying 193 databases that allowed further analysis (hereafter applicable), and 136 databases that do not allow the extraction of data (hereafter non-applicable). The applicable spatial databases were further linked to the i) CICES framework for ecosystem services classification, ii) DPSIR framework and iii) descriptors considered in the MSFD. The obtained results showed that 42% of the spatial databases can be useful to map regulation services, followed by provision (33%) and cultural (21%) services. Considering the DPSIR framework, more than half can be used as proxies to evaluate coastal and marine ecosystems status (66%), followed by proxies of pressures (18%), drivers (8%), responses (4%), and finally impacts (4%). The available databases represent in a better way MSFD descriptors related to Hydrogeological conditions (D7), Eutrophication (D5), and Biodiversity (D1), being the non-indigenous species (D2) and contaminants in seafood (D9) descriptors somehow underrepresented. The obtained findings highlight the spatial open data limitations and challenges when mapping coastal and marine ecosystem services and contribute to the identification of spatial data gaps and opportunities when aiming for the sustainable management of marine ecosystems.
- The ability to define the spatial dynamics of fish stocks is critical to fisheries management. Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the regulation of area‐based management through physical patrols and port side controls are growing areas of management attention. Augmenting the existing approaches to fisheries management with forensic techniques has the potential to increase compliance and enforcement success rates.
- We tested the accuracy of three techniques (genotyping, otolith microchemistry and morphometrics) that can be used to identify geographic origin. We used fish caught from three fishing grounds, separated by a minimum of 5 km and a maximum of 60 km, to test the accuracy of these approaches at relatively small spatial scales.
- Using nearest‐neighbour analyses, morphometric analysis was the most accurate (79.5%) in assigning individual fish to their fishing ground of origin. Neither otolith microchemistry (54.0%) or genetic analyses (52.4%) had sufficient accuracy at the spatial scales we examined.
- Synthesis and applications. The combination of accuracy and minimal resource requirements make morphometric analysis a promising tool for assessing compliance with area‐based fishing restrictions at the scale of kilometres. Furthermore, this approach has promising application, in small‐scale fisheries through to community‐based management approaches where technical and financial resources are limited.
Traditional silo approaches to managing marine resources and anthropogenic activities are progressively being replaced by systemic and holistic ecosystem-based management. In Europe, authorities are increasingly realising the interconnected complexity and transboundary effects of maritime economic activities on each other and on the marine environment. Facilitating cross-border coordination and cooperation between neighbouring European Member States and their non-EU border countries on the implementation of maritime spatial planning (MSP) is essential in ensuring the sustainable management of the European marine environment. During the last decade, progressive efforts have been dedicated to coordinate national marine planning to ensure that there is a concerted, coherent and sustainable approach regarding the activities taking place in the European seas. The Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (2014/89/EU) states that regional coordination and cooperation between Member States is a requirement in the development and implementation of national maritime spatial plans, and specifically mentions the consideration of the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) that are in place in Europe. Through analysing the results of a small-scale survey under European MSP experts, the paper explores whether an increased involvement of the RSCs in regional cooperation on MSP is perceived as possible and/or desirable. The paper considers the (potential) role of the RSCs in the cross-border coordination of major maritime economic activities, as well as in cross-border MSP projects taking place in the European sea basins. The paper pays specific attention to the desirability and perceived challenges of such an increased role for the RSCs.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a tool for managing and improving marine environments. The field is dominated by natural scientists and has not been commonly associated with planning. This research analyzes the MSP literature to explore how planners can contribute to MSP research and practice. We organize the literature into eight themes, focusing on how planners may be able to contribute to MSP research and practice: ocean zoning, defining boundaries, planning in dynamic environments, stakeholder involvement, information needs, integrating ocean and land-use management, managing multiple and conflicting uses, and transboundary institutional structures. We conclude that planners have a lot to contribute in these eight areas.
This study proposes and discusses a multi-scale spatial planning method implemented simultaneously at local and national level to prioritize ecosystem management actions across landscapes and seascapes. Mismatches in scale between the occurrence of biodiversity patterns and ecological processes, and the size and nature of the human footprint, and the different levels and scope of governance, are a significant challenge in conservation planning. These scale mismatches are further confounded by data resolution disparities across and amongst the different scales. To address this challenge, we developed a multi-resolution scale-linked marine spatial planning method. We tested this approach in the development of a Conservation Plan for a significant portion of South Africa’s exclusive economic zone, adjacent to the east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal (the SeaPlan project). The study’s dataset integrated the geographic distribution of 390 biodiversity elements (species, habitats, and oceanographic processes) and 38 human activities. A multi-resolution system of planning unit layers (PUL), with individual PUs ranging in resolution from 0.2 to 10 km, was designed to arrange and analyse these data. Spatial priorities for conservation were selected incrementally at different scales, contributing conservation targets from the fine-, medium- and large-scale analyses, and from the coast to the offshore. Compared to a basic single-resolution scale-unlinked plan, our multi-resolution scale-linked method selects 6% less conservation area to achieve the same targets. Compared to a multi-resolution scale-unlinked plan, our method requires only an additional 5% area. Overall, this method reflects the multi-scale nature of marine social-ecological systems more realistically, is relatively simple and replicable, and serves to better connect fine-scale and large-scale spatial management policies. We discuss the impacts of this study on protected area expansion planning processes in South Africa. This study showcases a methodological advance that has the potential to impact marine spatial planning practices and policies.