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

Future Energy System Pathways (UKERC)
Completed

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
Completed

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...

DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environment
Completed

DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status (DEVOTES)

Contact: Professor Melanie Austen

The objective of DEVOTES is to gain better understanding of the relationship between pressures from human activities and climatic influences, and...

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Other recent news articles

News

PML scientists to use latest EU Sentinel satellite to study the oceans (1)

The third in a series of Earth observation satellites was launched by the European Space Agency, ESA this evening.

News

Social impacts and value of marine activities reviewed in new report

The UK’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has released a report, led by PML, on the social impacts of selected marine activities in relation to marine planning and other MMO functions.

News

South West Marine Ecosystems 2019 Annual Report now published

The South West Marine Ecosystems 2019 Annual Report has just been published and can be accessed on the SWME website .

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