Pilot Site
north sea beach by magnetismus, www.flickr.com/photos/magnetismus/6175142092, cropped, applied monochrome filter

Different countries utilise various methods for disseminating information about the governance of maritime activities. Nevertheless, information ‘is generally highly fragmented, sector-specific and/or poorly accessible.’ The diversity of legal systems and the extensive regulatory and legal framework within each country, adds considerable complexity to implementing MSP at a sea basin level. The marine planning project website can address many of the regulatory and legal complexities as it provides a single platform where users can investigate the planning and licensing processes for different activities within different countries or jurisdictions.

It has two main functions:

  1. Facilitating development of marine spatial plans by enabling marine planners to formulate a more comprehensive plan by providing them with the ability to analyse all possible short and long term options within their own jurisdiction.   This also provides regulators with the ability to implement adaptive management in a more controlled manner through the licensing systems in operation within each jurisdiction.

  2. Providing marine users, the general public, NGOs and conservation organisation with an overview of the marine planning systems and licencing process within each jurisdiction.  This presents them with the opportunity to engage in the marine planning and licensing process more efficiently.  Thus implementing the ecosystem approach in a more effective manner.

It does this by providing the foundations upon which each country around a regional sea can implement marine planning within their own jurisdiction, bridging the gaps that currently exist by:

(1) In broad terms, explaining the governance/legal system of the jurisdiction;

(2) Explaining the marine planning system in operation in each jurisdiction;

(3) By identifying the law and policies within each jurisdiction for each activity;

(4) For each activity it provides details of licenses or authorisations required;

(5) It provides regulator details and links to the regulator within each jurisdiction for each activity;

(6) It provides the links to data sources within each jurisdiction;

(7) It identifies where each activity is currently taking place within each jurisdiction;*

(8) It identifies where national planning authorities have highlighted an area where an activity could take place;*

(9) It highlights nuances within the law by providing legal definitions, and

(10) Overcomes language barriers by defining what specific words mean in that jurisdiction and in that particular context.

The aim is to enable participating countries to adopt collective responsibility for shared sea basins but respect national boundaries and legal systems within each.

* This tool (Activity Locations) within the website currently displays example locations for aquaculture.  The locations displayed are for demonstration purposes only.