A link between the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Maritime Spatial Planning: spatio-temporal modelling of pressure-state relationships for spatial management in the southern North Sea
Human activities in the North Sea increase. Spatial management measures that link (sustainable) use with the achievement of good environmental status are therefore needed. In this PhD project, we investigate the effects of human activities, especially that of fishing and offshore wind farms, on the spatio-temporal distribution of the demersal fish biodiversity to provide decision support through spatial management scenarios.
The EU legislation on Maritime Spatial Planning and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) pursue fundamentally different priorities, "Blue Growth" on the one hand and environmental protection on the other. Both, however, attempt to reach that goal through sustainable use and ecosystem-based management, so that marine biodiversity among other components is not jeopardised. Effective planning requires spatial information on the impact of the maritime spatial plan that arises inter alia through the construction of offshore wind farms. However, tested and operationalised indicators that measure the effects of human activities on the biodiversity of demersal fish - not only temporally but also spatially - are currently lacking. At the same time, (spatial) management measures need to be implemented under the MSFD to protect the ecosystem and that need to be brought into line with the plan. The aim of the project is thus to bridge maritime spatial planning and MSFD through spatial modelling and analysis of pressure-state relationships to develop spatial management scenarios. This could ultimately serve as decision guidance for the planning process, for example, at the national level. As a first step, this is tested in a case study of German North Sea waters.
Policy and decision makers; marine scientists; interested public
9.2013 - 4.2017
Project status: finished