The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Convention includes specific provisions to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). The SPRFMO Commission has determined that the interim measures put in place to protect VMEs should be replaced by an improved system of fishable and closed areas. We used the conservation planning tool Zonation to examine the utility of a decision-support tool to develop spatial management options that balance the protection of VMEs with utilisation of high value areas for fishing. Input data included: habitat suitability maps for VME indicator taxa, and uncertainties associated with these model predictions, for an area of the high seas around New Zealand; naturalness condition, represented by two proxy variables using New Zealand trawl effort data; and value to the New Zealand fishery using trawl catch data for two gear types and three time-periods. Running scenario analyses with these data allowed for an understanding of the effect of varying the input data on the spatial prioritisation of areas for VME conservation. The analyses also allowed for the cost to fishing to be determined, in terms of the amount of the trawl catch footprint (normalised to the catch) lost if high priority areas for VME indicator taxa are protected. In most scenarios, the cost to fishing was low given the relatively high proportion of suitable habitat for VME indicator taxa that could be protected. The main outcome of the present study is a demonstration of the practical utility of using available data, including modelled data, and the Zonation decision-support tool to develop future options for the spatial management of the SPRFMO area. Suggestions are also made for improvements in input data for future analyses.
Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)
We are currently in what might be termed a “third phase” of ocean enclosures around the world. This phase has involved an unprecedented intensity of map-making that supports an emerging regime of ocean governance where resources are geocoded, multiple and disparate marine uses are weighed against each other, spatial tradeoffs are made, and exclusive rights to spaces and resources are established. The discourse and practice of marine spatial planning inform the contours of this emerging regime. This paper examines the infrastructure of marine spatial planning via two ocean data portals recently created to support marine spatial planning on the East Coast of the United States. Applying theories of ontological politics, critical cartography, and a critical conceptualization of “care,” we examine portal performances in order to link their organization and imaging practices with the ideological and ontological work these infrastructures do, particularly in relation to environmental and human community actors. We further examine how ocean ontologies may be made durable through portal use and repetition, but also how such performances can “slip,” thereby creating openings for enacting marine spatial planning differently. Our analysis reveals how portal infrastructures assemble, edit, and visualize data, and how it matters to the success of particular performances of marine spatial planning.
Human use of marine and coastal areas is increasing worldwide, resulting in conflicts between different interests for marine space, overexploitation of marine resources, and environmental degradation. In this study we developed a methodology that combines assessments of marine environmental vulnerability and cumulative human pressures to support the processes of ecosystem-based adaptive maritime spatial planning. The methodology is built on the spatially explicit marine environmental vulnerability profile (EVP) that is an aggregated product of the distribution of essential nature values (habitat-forming benthic macroalgal and invertebrate species, benthic species richness, birds and seals as top marine predators) and their sensitivities to disturbances. The marine environmental cumulative risk profile (ERP) combines the EVP and the HELCOM Baltic Sea Pressure Index (BSPI), the latter representing the spatial distribution of intensities of cumulative anthropogenic pressures. The ERP identifies areas where environmental risks are the highest due to both long recoveries of the biota and high intensities of human pressures. This methodology can be used in any other sea areas by modifying the list of nature values, their sensitivity to disturbances, and the intensities of human pressure.
Sectoral management has long dominated the use of coastal zones in Taiwan. This approach addresses concerns faced by individual sectors. However, it fails to offer a holistic view to see the whole picture of interactions between various uses as well as a mechanism to engage in coordination among sectors and between levels of governments. In order to solve this failure, Taiwan's government stipulated a new dedicated law, the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), in 2015 to supplement existing sectoral management and promote sustainable development of coastal zones in an integrated way. This paper aims to examine Taiwan's coastal management framework with an emphasis on the CZMA. It specifically illustrates the practical application of the CZMA on offshore wind farms, which have recently gained momentum in Taiwan's pursuit of renewable energy. Finally, while the paper argues that the CZMA is conducive to an enhanced coastal management framework, it identifies areas deserving attention and proposed recommendations, including: encouraging public participation, employing living shoreline installations wherever appropriate, enhancing human resource capacity and conducting a complete survey of coastal resources so as to make an overall coastal spatial plan.
The European Atlas of the Seas is a web-based coastal and marine information system, originally aimed at the general public, but capable also of supporting non-specialist professionals in addressing environmental matters, human activities and management policies related to the sea. It is based on a combination of data (and metadata), which present a snapshot of both natural and socio-economic elements of coastal and marine regions in the European Union and its Outermost Regions. The first idea of a European Atlas of the Seas was set forward in 2007 with the launch of the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union. Early work on the Atlas was conducted by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs of the European Commission, while further development of system architecture, data collection, map services and descriptive text was assigned in 2013 to the Joint Research Centre, with the aim to offer new services and features, as well as the interaction with other available information tools. The present European Atlas of the Seas consists of background data layers designed to be displayed as map backdrop, as well as a number of thematic data layers, classified under 8 main categories: geography, nature, tourism, security and safety, people and employment, transport and energy, governance and European policies, fisheries and aquaculture. These can be used to compose customized maps, as user-defined ad hoc indicators, and to probe them with tools such as product-to-product correlations, or time series visualisation. Non-specialist professional users can use such analysis and interpretation capabilities to couple data into ecological and socio-economic indicators for a wide range of applications. The thematic map collection provided a common baseline that can be used by Member States of the European Union in getting started with the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive requirements. As this is seen as a pre-requisite for Blue Growth, the European Atlas of the Seas will help the sustainable use of marine ecosystem services and resources.
The lack of a strategic planning to order a defined marine territory may result in a patchwork of overlapping policies, sometimes reinforcing the legislation, but sometimes contradicting it. In Brazil, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) policies have been implemented to marine management, however, in an independent way. This article presents the patchwork of marine policies in the State of São Paulo (Southeast of Brazil) and analyses their implementation process, symmetry and the integration between them. The policies analysed were the State Plan for Coastal Zone Management and the Marine Protected Areas of São Paulo Coast. Four main procedures were conducted: 1) a historical survey of marine policies legal establishment; 2) the analysis of criteria used to determine the marine zonings, 3) the production of maps to identify policies and marine zonings overlaps and; 4) the analysis of the implementation stage of policies by comparing the procedures accomplished by the policies analysed with the procedures proposed by the marine planning, management and conservation (MPMC) frameworks. It was observed that the policies analysed have not fully implemented the management procedures yet, such as the plans of management and monitoring programs, accomplishing only the basic procedures recommended by the MPMC frameworks. Marine zonings' criteria were mainly derived from political-economic interests at the expense of ecological features. Asymmetry and little integration between policies were verified. It resulted in the MPAs being ruled in part by the ICZM policy. A wider Ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning strategy (EBM-MSP), supported by a committee of integration, could sew this “blue patchwork”, considering the multiple uses in the territory and fostering policies full implementation. To achieve coherence on this decision-making process, MPMC policies' instruments should be founded on ecosystem-based management and on governance mechanisms with representatives' parity. Future studies should advance in investigating marine policies' symmetry and integration, stakeholders' dynamics and zoning criteria towards the sustainability of ecosystems services.
Marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP) is intended as a process to apply an adaptive ecosystem-based approach in order to manage the oceans towards the sustainable use of marine resources. Several policy documents and research articles have identified the need for MSP to address change, intended as dynamic aspects from different drivers. However, practical examples of MSP embracing change and dynamics are rare and the inclusion of system dynamics, environmental variability and future change in MSP remains challenging. Here, we conceptualize the multiple dimensions of change in MSP consisting in i) the dynamics of the marine and coastal social-ecological system (SES), and ii) the dynamics of the planning process. This study depicts the current state of scientific knowledge on incorporating change and dynamics in MSP through a systematic literature review. Efforts to actually incorporate change in MSP are mainly limited to environmental dynamics, while social and governance changes are rarely represented. Long-term temporal scales are only seldom considered, and climate change effects rarely incorporated in methods and tools to support MSP. We propose a tier-approach to include multiple response variables and scenario modeling to address socio-economic, environmental and governance change and dynamics within MSP.
The United States only accounts for 0.2% of the global offshore wind installed capacity despite a potential technical resource four orders of magnitude greater. A cumbersome permitting process is one of the challenges in implementing new projects. Part of this process requires biological data in order to inform assessments of environmental impacts; yet these data may be lacking for particular taxa at the required scale. Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a process that often includes data identification, collection, collation and analyses components. In this paper, we conduct a collective case study of three areas with offshore wind projects located in waters managed by marine spatial plans, focusing on how data efforts inform MSP and offshore wind development. Our study finds that MSP can facilitate data efforts during the permitting phase of offshore wind projects, but that other initiatives, particularly renewable energy policies and zoning, appear critical towards establishing offshore wind.
No-take marine reserves are common strategies used in spatial fisheries management. There are at least four general objectives for marine reserve design: (1) maximizing conservation, (2) minimizing total reserve area, (3) maximizing reserve compactness, and (4) minimizing socioeconomic opportunity cost (e.g., fisheries revenue). A spatial optimization model was developed to solve for reserve placements under those four objectives, while evaluating the bioeconomic tradeoffs and potential gaps of a subset of bottomfish restricted fishing areas (BRFAs) for the Hawaiian bottomfish fishery. Optimized reserve placements with minimal opportunity costs had little overlap (< 9%) with the placements of the BRFAs, opportunity cost values 50–83% less than that of the BRFAs with 40–54% higher potential conservation value. When reserve placements were optimized to provide a maximal opportunity cost, solutions had up to 49% overlap with the BRFAs, highlighting a potential drawback of the BRFA system with respect to socioeconomic impacts. When opportunity cost was instead calculated as total area, the optimized placements also had considerable overlap (up to 42%) with the BRFAs, highlighting the importance of socioeconomic data to the reserve design process. The solutions that provided maximal reserve compactness may be the most pragmatic for a reserve design team with specific area and/or conservation targets, as these solutions produced compact reserve placements that best matched those targets at a minimal opportunity cost. This analysis emphasized the use of spatial optimization models to not only guide the reserve design process, but to highlight tradeoffs of conflicting fisheries objectives in reserve design.
The 2014 EU Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) lays down obligations for the EU Member States to establish a maritime planning process, resulting in a maritime spatial plan by 2020. Consultation should be carried out with local, national and transnational stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement in MSP is complex because of the great number and diversity of maritime stakeholders and the unfamiliarity of some of these stakeholders with MSP and its potential impact. To facilitate stakeholder engagement in MSP, the ‘MSP Challenge’ table top strategy game was designed and played as part of several stakeholder events in different European countries. The authors study the efficacy of the game for stakeholder engagement. Background and evaluation data of nineteen game sessions with a total of 310 stakeholders with different backgrounds were collected through post-game surveys. Furthermore, the efficacy of the game for stakeholder engagement processes, organised by competent MSP authorities in Scotland and Belgium, is studied in more detail. The results show that the board game, overall, has been a very efficient and effective way of familiarising a great diversity of stakeholders with MSP and to create meaningful interaction and learning among stakeholders in formal planning processes. However, the case studies also show that contextual factors—the level of familiarity with MSP and participants’ perception to sustainability—influences the efficacy of the game.