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

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...

Quantifying benefits and impacts of fishing exclusion zones around Marine Renewable Energy Installat
Completed

Quantifying benefits and impacts of fishing exclusion zones around Marine Renewable Energy Installations (QBEX)

Contact: Professor Melanie Austen

The aim of this project is to assess the benefits and impacts of fishing exclusion zones around marine renewable energy installations. A side...

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Other recent news articles

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

The front line in marine vertebrate conservation

New study in the Journal of Applied Ecology identifies potential step forward in conservation of iconic large marine animals.

News

Building a common perspective for ecosystem valuation

This week PML is hosting a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO) sponsored workshop with the aim of aligning and sharing economic approaches to marine ecosystem assessment in shelf and coastal seas and estuaries, in particular to inform marine spatial planning.

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