Project

Marine Spatial Planning & Biodiversity

The new EU directive on marine spatial planning (MSP) emphasizes that MSP has to be implemented according to the ecosystem approach to marine management. Moreover, the European Integrated Maritime Policy calls for Blue Growth and the development of the Blue Economy. How can these objectives be integrated? This KB-project focuses on the governance aspects and challenges that relate to the processes of MSP and multi-use platforms at sea (MUPS)

Anthropogenic activities put pressure on the marine ecosystem, and new maritime developments even increase this pressure. Additionally, the traditional (e.g. shipping, fisheries, oil and gas, defense) and new maritime users (e.g. marine renewable energy production) compete for space. A new approach is needed to efficiently use the new economic developments to prevent and reduce the anthropogenic threats to the marine ecosystem. So far, offshore sectors have mostly developed their sectoral activities for single and stand-alone use, i.e. next to each other. Competing spatial claims at sea are now calling for multi-use concepts and for integrated approaches.

One multi-use concept is the development of multi-use platforms at sea (MUPS) in order to combine different maritime offshore activities. One example is the combination of offshore wind energy with aquaculture production. The combination of different activities at MUPS can cause higher risks but also opportunities for synergies en benefits, not only in economic but also in ecological terms. MUPS and multi-use combinations are challenging because different sectors - each with own language/ terminology, stakes, visions need to collaborate and be combined. MSP processes that should lead to collaboration between the different maritime sectors, in order to facilitate MUPS require special attention for and knowledge of marine governance.

Publications