The ocean is getting busier. Marine traffic, aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy, oil & gas, seabed mining and of course fisheries are all competing for space. Many sectors use the same or neighbouring locations. For example, wind turbines need soft debris to allow their anchors to hold; these are often areas, which are inhabited by highly valued species such as nephrops.
Countries try to divide their waters between the various sectors as fairly as possible. That’s what Marine Spatial Planning is all about. There are many European-wide projects relating to some form of MSP. With research in smaller, focused areas, projects such as MUSES and Blue Growth try and determine how MSP can best be applied in European waters.
SWFPA attends many of the meetings to give input from a fisheries perspective. Many sectors do not realize their effects on wild catch fisheries and our views are very much appreciated. Together with the other sectors we try to make co-existence as easy as possible.