With multiple sectors utilizing the marine and coastal environment, the competition for space has never been stronger. In response to this, the Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to explore options for EU action in coastal management and maritime planning.

With multiple sectors utilizing the marine and coastal environment, the competition for space has never been stronger. In response to this, the Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to explore options for EU action in coastal management and maritime planning.

Open until 20th May this year, the European Commission has launched an impact assessment on Marine Spatial Planning and as part of this, a public consultation on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The consultation is aimed at gathering
information from all stakeholders with an interest in MSP and ICZM through an online questionnaire.

The basis for this review is in light of the vast growth in maritime transport, offshore oil and gas, renewable marine energy forms, fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism and interests in environmental protection.

One approach to better managing such activities involves Marine Spatial Planning - defined as "a process designed to promote rational and sustainable use of the sea, balance different interests including the environmental aspects and improve the quality of decisions". Benefits from using such an approach are that it prevents conflict, maximises synergies, and ensures the efficient and sustainable use of marine space.

The use of MSP has been pursued as a central part of the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy and at the end of last year the European Commission published a Communication on the subject matter. In this, regard was paid to the conclusions of several stakeholder workshops - of which Seas At Risk were actively involved - and highlighted the need for MSP and a common approach to managing European sea basins. The question that now remains: How should the EU go about realizing these strategies?

 
 

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