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)
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.
Understanding the complexity of social-ecological systems is fundamental for achieving sustainability. Historically, humans have benefited from the ecosystem services offered by nature at the same time that natural systems have increasingly changed because of anthropogenic activities. The lack of methods to unveil and understand such associations might hinder the integrated management of coastal marine areas. In our study, we applied a methodological framework used in terrestrial systems to identify and spatially locate the coastal marine social-ecological systems (CMSESs) on the southern Mediterranean Spanish coast. These CMSESs represent areas with similar human-nature associations that result from sharing similar socioeconomic and marine environmental characteristics. We applied several multivariate analyses to identify and characterize these CMSESs. We found the presence of twelve CMSESs that suggest a co-evolution of the social-ecological associations in these areas. Our results highlight the need for integrated coastal planning and management that consider the specific characteristics and conservation challenges of each CMSES. Our study provides evidence that a successful methodological framework to identify and characterize social-ecological systems can be applied in coastal areas and contribute to integrated management for the sustainability of these fragile systems.
Modern ecosystem-based forms of marine management such as Marine Spatial Planning(MSP) deal with various complex systems and often with huge amounts of data. Software-based simulative and analytical tools are therefore frequently mentioned in the scientific literature on marine management approaches. But in addition to the evolution of management approaches, the requirements for more integrated tools are also progressing. MSP, for instance, comes with different spatial resolutions, an increased need to consider multiple interdepencies, and increased requirements for validity than most of the previous marine management questions. We reviewed seven well-known Decision Support Tools (DSTs) by asking 59 MSP practitioners from at least 25 countries worldwide about their experience with these tools. The results revealed that, while respondents were mostly positive about the use of DSTs in MSP processes, DSTs are still mainly used in the academic realm and have not yet found their way into everyday MSP practice. There is a broad range of reasons for not using DSTs, including the complexity of these tools, the resources required to operate them, low stakeholder confidence in DST outcomes, and the lack of additional value in using DSTs.
The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) is subject to moderate to high levels of fishing, mining and numerous other human pressures, all of which are set to intensify through current socio-economic development initiatives in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. There is, however, minimal spatial protection of marine and coastal ecosystems in the region, potentially reducing the sustainability of the planned development and the likelihood of achieving Sustainable Development Goals. As a precursor to Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) processes in the three countries, and to guide establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), this study aimed to: assess two headline indicators of ecosystem status, namely their potential threat status and current spatial protection levels; and to use Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) to prioritise specific areas for protection to achieve networks of MPAs that are representative of national and regional biodiversity. Two hundred and forty eight ecosystem types in the coastal (n = 134), offshore benthic (n = 86) and pelagic (n = 28) zones of the BCLME were classified, mapped and assessed. Overall, 35% of all ecosystem types in the study domain were threatened, with more threatened coastal (37%) and offshore benthic (37%) ecosystem types compared to pelagic ecosystem types (14%), although the same pattern was not necessarily evident within each country. Nearly two thirds (59%) of the BCLME ecosystem types were not protected in MPAs, and most of those that were well (19%) or moderately protected (14%) were coastal types that are within a single extensive MPA in Namibia. Notwithstanding, there was still a sufficient area of most ecosystem types that was assessed to be in good ecological condition in all three countries and that could be prioritised for representative protection of the region's biodiversity. A portfolio of priority conservation areas was identified from Marxan selection-frequency outputs, providing a spatial vision for protected areas in the BCLME that includes coastal, inshore and offshore areas in all three countries. This first assessment of marine ecosystem threat and protection status for an entire LME demonstrates a rapid science-based approach that can inform integrated ocean management and multiple development goals. The study provides a basis for identifying Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas, potential sites for MPAs or other spatial management in the region, and demonstrates the contribution of SCP and spatial management to MSP.
Marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP) aims to address conflicts between different sea uses and conflicts between such uses and marine environments. However, how to evaluate, particularly quantitatively evaluate, an MSP scheme on its performance of achieving the above objectives is still an issue. In this paper, an MSP scheme evaluation framework focusing on sea use compatibility and the protection degree of key ecological areas is put forward. First, the intensity of every sea use is graded on a scale of 1–10 based on its demand on marine resources and impacts on marine environments, and key ecological areas are identified based on scientific criteria for ecologically or biologically significant marine areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Then, a set of formulas are designed to calculate the conflict value among sea uses. The protection degree in a sea area is calculated through buffer zone tools and overlap analysis in Geographic Information System (GIS). The proposed method is applied to a case study of Xiamen, China, by comparing its marine spatial plans of version 2007 and version 2013. The results show that the sea use intensity increases from 3.51 to 4.20 on average in the Western Sea of Xiamen. The key ecological area protection value decreases from 0.59 to 0.45, and the sea use conflicts value decreases from 0.28 to 0.20. The results demonstrate that MSP is successful in reducing sea use conflicts in version 2013 in the context of an increasing sea use intensity. However, the protection degree of key ecological areas needs to be strengthened. Further statistical analysis of the results provides more information for the cause analysis of the performance changes. This information would inform potential revisions of the current marine spatial plan and future sea use management. The proposed method provides a feasible approach to analyse the MSP scheme in a quantitative way.
The implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP) is bringing together a new body of practitioners who are largely drawn from related professions but have relatively little specific education, training or qualifications in MSP. This is partly due to the newness of the field and the limited opportunities available for personal development. Educational capacity is developing, though MSP content is mostly being added on to existing marine-related programmes. Taking a learning-centred approach, this article seeks to contribute to the development of higher-education curricula that can support a newly-forming MSP practitioner and research community. The proposals presented here are based upon existing educational provision, the ongoing experience of an Erasmus+ partnership in MSP teaching and learning and the results of a related survey. This lays emphasis upon enabling students: to gain a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary body of knowledge and understanding; to develop a strong set of academic and professional skills to underpin MSP practice and research; and to benefit from a variety of methods of learning, teaching and assessment that are designed to facilitate autonomous learning and skills development. Educators should be encouraged to respond to current practice needs and work collaboratively with students in developing courses that respond to their concerns and ambitions.