Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is an effective tool for conciliating human activities and environmental values, building on spatial data and geoinformation technologies. However, socio-economic information is distinctly underrepresented in the rapidly growing supply of spatial information. The spatial distribution of current and future activities and opinions has traditionally been the silent information of scientists, local actors and the public. Moreover, future projections and policies exist in qualitative, non-spatial formats, incompatible with quantitative biophysical spatial data layers. This article aims at promoting the generation and application of spatial socio-economic information for the purposes of MSP. We examine one workflow of converting the socio-economic knowledge of individual experts to spatial data, and further to refined spatial knowledge. We illustrate how participatory mapping, data interpretation and core geocomputing methods may be used to generate data, and discuss the main issues related to their generation and use. The results suggest that participatory mapping can provide valuable data for the MSP process, helping in filling the gap of missing socio-economic information. The process is highly subjective: the presentation of background information, the framing of the questions and the interpretation of the spatial data may have notable influence on the generated information. Furthermore, both the technology of the data collection and applied analysis methods have distinct effects on spatial information and its validity.
Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)
- Marine spatial planning (MSP) has increasingly been applied around the world to better manage the pressures and conflicts arising from human use of the sea. More recently it has been conceived as an approach to implement an ecosystem‐based management approach to the marine environment.
- New Zealand was a late adopter of MSP, commencing its first MSP process in 2013 for the Hauraki Gulf (Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari), and completing the plan in late 2016.
- The planning process drew on international experience in MSP and collaborative processes but was adapted considerably to take account of the local context. Most particularly, the plan reflected concerns about the ecological decline of the Hauraki Gulf as well the strong and growing role of Māori in natural resource management in New Zealand.
- The Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari project was experimental and represents an innovation in MSP practice in a number of respects including: establishing a co‐governance structure for the project; tasking a group of Māori tribal and stakeholder representatives with producing the plan on a collaborative basis; addressing both catchment and marine issues and sectors in an integrated manner; and integrating indigenous knowledge with science.
- A number of valuable lessons from marine planning can be drawn from this project, including: MSP can support ecosystem‐based management; collaborative processes can be powerful in achieving shared outcomes for the community and can create a rich learning environment for scientists; indigenous knowledge can strengthen planning processes by providing more holistic knowledge; and scientists within a MSP project can help frame the planning process and act as a conduit between the scientific and layperson communities.
Incorporating ecosystem changes from non-indigenous species (NIS) is an important task of maritime spatial planning. Maritime spatial planning requires a framework that emphasises ecological functioning in a state of dynamic change, including changes to ecosystem services from functions introduced by new NIS. Adaptable modelling toolsets should be developed that can readily incorporate knowledge of new NIS. In the Baltic Sea, recent NIS examples are the North American mud crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii and the Ponto-Caspian round goby Neogobius melanostomus. We performed environmental niche modelling that predicted N. melanostomus will spread across large areas of the Baltic Sea coast while R. harrisii will be limited to regions with high temperature and low salinity conditions. We then performed a meta-analysis on literature showing effects in the Baltic Sea from these NIS and calculated the standardised effect-sizes on relevant ecosystem services. Half the impacts identified for N. melanostomus were considered to increase ecosystem service outcomes, while all R. harrisii impacts caused apparent decreases. Effect coefficients were incorporated into an online impact assessment tool developed by the Estonian Marine Institute. Users with or without science training can use the portal to estimate areas impacted and changes to natural assets (km2) caused by these NIS and cumulative effects from other pressure-types. Impact estimates are based on best available knowledge from manipulative and correlative experiments and thus form a link between science and management. Dynamic modelling techniques informed from varied ecological and methodological perspectives will effectively advise spatial planners about rapid maritime changes and mitigationactions to reduce NIS impacts especially in the focus areas.
The growth of marine aquaculture over the 21st century is a promising venture for food security because of its potential to fulfill the seafood deficit in the future. However, to maximize the use of marine space and its resources, the spatial planning of marine aquaculture needs to consider the regimes of climate variability in the oceanic environment, which are characterized by large-amplitude interannual to decadal fluctuations. It is common to see aquaculture spatial planning schemes that do not take variability into consideration. This assumption may be critical for management and for the expansion of marine aquaculture, because projects require investments of capital and need to be profitable to establish and thrive. We analyze the effect of climate variability on the profitability of hypothetical mussel aquaculture systems in the Southern California Bight. Using historical environmental data from 1981 to 2008, we combine mussel production and economics models at different sites along the coast to estimate the Net Present Value as an economic indicator of profitability. We find that productivity of the farms exhibits a strong coherent behavior with marketed decadal fluctuations that are connected to climate of the North Pacific Basin, in particular linked to the phases of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO). This decadal variability has a strong impact on profitability both temporally and spatially, and emerges because of the mussels’ dependence on multiple oceanic environmental variables. Depending on the trend of the decadal regimes in mussel productivity and the location of the farms, these climate fluctuations will affect cost recovery horizon and profitability for a given farm. These results suggest that climate variability should be taken into consideration by managers and investors on decision making to maximize profitability.
A novel blue planning discourse has been elevated through marine spatial planning (MSP) discussions in Brazil since 2011, following the evolution of international ocean governance policy innovation in the past decades. This paper investigates the early evolution stages of a socio-political arena around MSP in Brazil using as reference the IOC-UNESCO's step-by-step approach. It also employs the interactive governance theory to describe and analyze the challenges and opportunities in four phases in the evolution of a MSP policy arena at the Brazil's Blue Amazon level; and discuss it in terms of five major functional governability narratives this trajectory evoke to actors in this new interactive governance playing field. The evolution of Brazilian MSP arena was triggered by discussions at the international level (Phase I – 2011 to 2012), which encountered some resistance until it was reframed under a new formal intra-governmental institutional building process (Phase II – 2012 to 2013). Following a rapid surge and apparent early advances in MSP discussions (Phase III - 2014), the final (current) Phase IV can be characterized by the quiescence of the innovation process led by federal government, and the rise in numbers and diversity of agents in the MSP policy arena. It is noted with this analysis that Brazil is behind the international schedule on MSP, as it is still struggling in the ‘articulation and framing phase’. The analysis of thirty-four challenges and opportunities identified in this trajectory shows that improving functional capacities to govern (governability) the ocean in Brazil will require all actors to: (1) streamline cross-network knowledge-exchange to improve the nascent MSP arena; (2) further understand institutional dynamics impeding policy integration; (3) foster a more symmetrically responsive ocean governance arena; (4) promote coordinated scaling through principle-based policy-building and; (5) strengthening critical but proactive civil society participation at multiple, interrelated area-based ocean governance innovation frontlines. The accumulated capacities shared by existing knowledge-to-action networks in Brazil may render the emerging arena a dynamic, creative, and regional ocean learning experiment.
The expectations on marine spatial planning to improve environmental governance of the Baltic Sea are high, not least for helping to close the huge gaps between environmental objectives and the state of the marine environment. This article focuses on the on-going implementation of marine spatial planning in Sweden, well-known to be a forerunner in environmental policy. Aiming to identify governance recommendations, the study analyses how the first consultation document for the Baltic Sea may complement existing governance systems and promote gap closure. A particular focus is placed on the potential impact of the plan on the implementation of an ecosystem approach to management (EAM) and how these issues are regarded by involved stakeholders. It is shown that the planning process promotes participation, but that the studied plan as such most likely does not significantly help to close any larger environmental goal-state gaps. A number of recommendations on how to develop the plan are discussed, but significant improvements require broader governance reforms, in particular concerning coordination and integration in relation to legislation on other marine and water strategies, as well as policies and laws for fisheries, agriculture and industrial chemicals. Major policy development is thus needed in order to allow marine spatial planning in Sweden, and most likely in several other geographical areas as well, to significantly help closing goal-state gaps in the future.
Worldwide, as wild-caught commercial fisheries plateau and human demands for protein increase, marine aquaculture is expanding. Much marine aquaculture is inherently adaptable to changing climatic and chemical conditions. Nevertheless, siting of marine aquaculture operations is subject to competing environmental, economic, and social demands upon and priorities for ocean space, while some forms of marine aquaculture can also impose other externalities on marine systems, such as pollution from wastes (nutrients) and antibiotics, consumption of wild fish as food, and introduction of non-native or genetically modified species. As a result, governmental policy decisions to promote both marine aquaculture that can adapt to a changing ocean and adaptive governance for that aquaculture can become contested, requiring attention to their social legitimacy.
This article explores how the law can promote the adaptability of marine aquaculture to climate change and ocean acidification—adaptive marine aquaculture—while still preserving key rule-of-law values, such as public participation and accountability. Perhaps most obviously, law can establish substantive requirements for marine aquaculture that minimize its impacts, promoting marine resilience overall. However, to foster truly adaptive marine aquaculture, including adaptive governance institutions, coastal nations should also procedurally reform their marine spatial planning efforts to legally connect the procedures for aquaculture permitting, marine spatial planning (MSP), and adaptive management. The goals for such connections, moreover, should be to mandate new forums for public participation and creative collaboration, promote experimentation with accountability that leads to increased knowledge, and foster the emergence of adaptive governance regarding the use of marine space.
Spatial planning increasingly incorporates theoretical predictions that artificial habitats assist species movement at or beyond range edges, yet evidence for this is uncommon. We conducted surveys of highly mobile fauna (fishes) on artificial habitats (reefs) on the southeastern USA continental shelf to test whether, in comparison to natural reefs, artificial reefs enhance local abundance and biomass of fishes at their poleward range margins. Here, we show that while temperate fishes were more abundant on natural reefs, tropical, and subtropical fishes exhibited higher abundances and biomasses on deep (25–35 m) artificial reefs. Further analyses reveal that this effect depended on feeding guilds because planktivorous and piscivorous but not herbivorous fishes were more abundant on artificial reefs. This is potentially due to heightened prey availability on and structural complexity of artificial reefs. Our findings demonstrate that artificial habitats can facilitate highly mobile species at range edges and suggest these habitats assist poleward species movement.
Spatial protection measures have become ubiquitous in fisheries management and marine conservation. Implemented for diverse objectives from stock rebuilding to biodiversity protection and ecosystem management, spatial measures range from temporary fisheries closures to marine protected areas with varying levels of protection. Ecological and economic benefits from spatial protection have been demonstrated for many reef and demersal species, but remain debated and understudied for highly migratory fishes, such as tunas, billfishes, and pelagic sharks. Here we summarize the spatial extent of fisheries closures implemented by the tuna RFMOs as well as marine protected areas worldwide, which together cover ∼15% of global ocean area. We furthermore synthesize results from modeling and tagging studies as well as fisheries-dependent research to provide an overview of the efficacy and benefits of present spatial protection measures for large pelagic fishes and their associated fisheries. We conclude that (1) many species with known migration routes, aggregating behavior, and philopatry can benefit from spatial protection; but (2) spatial protection alone is insufficient and should be integrated with effective fisheries management to protect and rebuild stocks of highly migratory species. We suggest tailoring spatial protection to the biology of large pelagic fishes, including improved protection for aggregation sites and migration corridors. These features currently appear to be an important—yet overlooked— opportunity to safeguard depleted and recovering stocks and protect pelagic biodiversity. New remote-sensing tools that track pelagic fishes and fishing vessels may provide timely support for improved spatial management in waters that were previously difficult to observe.