Marine spatial planning

Marine spatial planning brings together multiple users of the ocean to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use marine resources sustainably. In order for sound decisions to be made they need to be based upon robust scientific evidence that considers all aspects and users of the marine environment.

Millions of people across the globe rely on marine and coastal ecosystems for food, employment and their general well-being. However, the marine environment is under immense pressure from the multiple, and often conflicting, needs of the people that use it. Marine spatial planning considers all the potential users of the marine environment and the consequences of their actions in order to utilise marine resources in a coordinated and sustainable manner. 

We support marine spatial planning through a wide range of activities, from understanding where living resources such as fished species are and where they will be in the future; by understanding the resilience of the distribution of these resources to environmental and climate change; by evaluating ecosystem services and benefits and the social impacts of marine activities; by use of Earth Observation; and by modelling the impacts of engineering works on the marine environment. In this way, we help identify key areas requiring co-location of uses and their management, such as providing advice on the positioning of important areas for Marine Conservation and renewable energy infrastructure.

Making a difference

PML constantly strives to produce and distribute high quality data to inform policy and management decisions and promote sustainable development of the marine environment, to enable marine resources to be utilised in a responsible manner to preserve the health of marine ecosystems and maintain biodiversity.

Projects

NERC Airborne Research Facility (NERC-ARF)

NERC Airborne Research Facility (NERC-ARF)

Contact: Steve Groom

Airborne remote sensing provides an efficient method for the rapid collection of data over a specified area, as a cost effective means of...

Future Energy System Pathways (UKERC)

Future Energy System Pathways (UKERC)

Contact: Professor Melanie Austen

The latest, third phase of funding from UKERC is analysing the implications of possible UK energy futures. It is examining these transitions in the...

OPTIMAL

Optical Methods for Marine Litter detection (OPTIMAL)

Contact: Dr Victor Martinez-Vicente

Marine litter consists predominantly of plastics and is an increasing global concern because of its worldwide distribution and its impacts on the...

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Related recent publications

  1. Winship, AJ; Kinlan, BP; Ballance, LT; Joyce, T; Leirness, JB; Costa, BM; Poti, M; Miller, PI. 2016 Chapter 7: Seabirds. In: Costa, BM; Kendall, MS, (eds.) Marine Biogeographic Assessment of the Main Hawaiian Islands. Silver Spring, MD, USA, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 283-319, 359pp. (OCS Study BOEM 2016-035 and NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 214, OCS St).
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  2. Pittman, SJ; Winship, AJ; Poti, M; Kinlan, BP; Leirness, JB; Baird, RW; Barlow, J; Becker, EA; Forney, KA; Hill, MC; Miller, PI; Mobley, J; Oleson, EM. 2016 Chapter 6: Marine Mammals - Cetaceans. In: Costa, BM; Kendall, MS, (eds.) Marine Biogeographic Assessment of the Main Hawaiian Islands. Silver Spring, MD, USA, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 227-265, 359pp. (OCS Study BOEM 2016-035 and NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 214, OCS St).
    View publication

  3. Austen, MC; Hattam, C; Garrard, SL. 2015 Chapter 11: Human activities and ecosystem service use: impacts and trade-offs. In: Crowe, TP; Frid, CLJ, (eds.) Marine ecosystems: human impacts on biodiversity, functioning and services. Cambridge University Press, 335-376.
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  4. Pendleton, L; Mongruel, R; Beaumont, NJ; Hooper, T; Charles, M. 2015 A triage approach to improve the relevance of marine ecosystem services assessments. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 530. 183-193. 10.3354/meps11111
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  5. Miller, PI; Scales, KL; Ingram, SN; Southall, EJ; Sims, DW. 2015 Basking sharks and oceanographic fronts: quantifying associations in the north-east Atlantic. Functional Ecology, 29 (8). 1099-1109. 10.1111/1365-2435.12423
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