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

ACTOM

Act on Offshore Monitoring (ACTOM)

Contact: Jerry Blackford

ACTOM will develop the capability for cost-effective monitoring of offshore carbon storage projects as part of Carbon Capture Utilisation and...

ACCORD
Completed

Addressing Challenges of Coastal Communities through Ocean Research for Developing Economies (ACCORD)

Contact: Professor Steve Widdicombe

The coastal and marine environments of South East Asia and the Western Indian Ocean (the regional foci of ACCORD) are rich and diverse, possessing...

SEAMLESS

SEAMLESS: Services based on Ecosystem data AssiMiLation: Essential Science and Solutions (SEAMLESS)

Contact: Dr Stefano Ciavatta

SEAMLESS aims at improving the current European capability to simulate and predict the state of marine ecosystems. The project is led by PML...

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Other recent news articles

News

Satellites detecting oil slicks

A PML project using satellite data to detect oil on the sea’s surface has found significant oil spills occurring off the coast of West Africa.

News

Report calls for integrated approach to nature-based interventions

Failure to consider the wider environmental impacts of nature-based interventions risks increasing global warming and damaging the environment, warns a new report from the Natural Capital Committee (NCC), featuring research from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

News

Western English Channel springs into life

One of the wonderful aspects of PML is its truly interdisciplinary nature and keeping a look out for the start of the Spring bloom is a great example of this integrated approach.  

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