News archive



The Irish Sea Maritime Forum, supported by the University of Liverpool, is conducting an Irish-sea wide survey to look to the future and the changing context of the Irish Sea in the 2020s and to develop a vision for the Irish Sea.

The aim is to develop a comprehensive picture of the future for the Irish Sea and its communities on a whole Irish Sea scale by asking for your views on:

  • What the Irish Sea means to you?
  • What are the current and future issues and opportunities?
  • What key projects are taking place around the Irish Sea?
  • What Brexit and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic might mean for the Irish Sea and its communities?

The ISMF welcomes responses from all sectors and communities around the Irish Sea.

You can access the survey by following this link.

Five recorded webinars have been produced by the Welsh Government to provide an overview of Marine Planning in Wales and the Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP).

The webinars cover:

To enable easier access to the Welsh National Marine Plan policies and objectives, web content on the Marine Wales website has been developed. You can view a summary of the eleven sectors contained within the WNMP (Aggregates, Aquaculture, Defence, Dredging and Disposal, Energy – Low Carbon, Energy – Oil and Gas, Fisheries, Ports and Shipping, Sub-sea cabling, Surface water and wastewater treatment and Disposal and Tourism and recreation) including background information about the sector, the sector’s objective and the sector policy.


A new project report has recently been published on the SIMAtlantic website!

The report D1.1 Description of MSP relevant information for Atlantic countries (January 2020) initiates an investigation of relevant information supporting the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the European Atlantic. It provides an overview of the baseline environmental and biological characteristics and legal arrangements for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Atlantic region. It also provides detailed information on the geography of the region including a description of benthic and pelagic habitats, physical features, oceanographic characteristics, legal and governance arrangements for MSP in five Atlantic European countries involved in the SIMAtlantic project: France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland and England). 


To advise the IOC Secretariat in the design, development and implementation of the Decade communication and outreach initiatives, the IOC Secretariat is forming a group of Communication Experts from around the world - the Decade Communications Advisory Group!

IOC-UNESCO is looking for experts with relevant experience in communications, marketing and public relations, related to one or more of the following fields: 

  • Sustainable Development 
  • Marine knowledge and research, ocean observation and monitoring, oceanography 
  • Maritime security and surveillance 
  • International ocean governance 
  • Maritime economy 
  • Marine and maritime data and information processing and analysis 
  • Local governance 
  • Community-Led Local Development 
  • Social and human sciences 
  • Indigenous knowledge 
  • Ocean Literacy 
  • Philanthropy 
  • Any other field deemed connected/relevant to the UN Decade of Ocean Science

Please see the Terms of Reference and Expression of Interest Form for details, and register before 23:59 CET on 4 September 2020!


Aug 14

The deadline of the Green Deal Call for Tenders is extended to 30 September 2020.

How accurate are vessel density maps derived from AIS signals captured by satellites?

Please see the tender documents for more details.


In view of the European objective to decarbonize Europe before 2050, there is a need to understand and anticipate future interaction and possible conflict between fisheries and windfarms and associated mitigating approaches. In 2019, under the Assistance Mechanism for MSP, a preliminary study was conducted on the subject. Building on examples from North Sea countries and France, it provided a detailed overview of the principal sources of conflict, as well as a set of 14 solutions implemented to deal with them. The short background study "Recommendations for positive interactions between offshore wind farms and fisheries" is now available on the EU website.

The objective of the study is to provide further insight to the actual interactions between the two sectors, building on the most recent documentation available. The study aims to answer the following questions:

  • What are the tensions/conflicts between offshore wind farms and fisheries?
  • How have these conflicts been addressed in EU Member States (at policy level, planning level and operational level)?
  • Can some best practices be identified that could be duplicated?
  • What could be done to better assess potential conflicts?
  • Are there potential synergies that could be developed to mitigate these conflicts and improve cohabitation?


With maritime space in increasingly high demand, due to competition between different sectors, Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) can be a determining factor for the development of the blue economy. This study aims to explore evidence of effects stemming from the current state of implementation of MSP, with a particular focus on economic effects, so to provide EU Member States with additional
information on how to maximise its benefits. The first part of the study consists of a review and an analysis of existing economic literature on the costs and benefits of MSP. In the second part, the authors develop five case studies to estimate the economic impact of MSP in countries where, albeit at different levels, this has been implemented: Belgium, Germany (Baltic Sea), Scotland, Norway (North Sea and Skagerrak), Rhode Island. The preliminary results of the study were discussed with economists and stakeholders at a workshop that took place in Brussels in October 2019. The comments received during the workshop were taken into account for the preparation of the Final Report.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the 2020 Call for Proposals includes a number of novel concepts and eligibility conditions, the deadline for proposals submission is extended from 10 September to 10 November 2020. 

Please proceed the EU website for more information.


A Marine Spatial Planning Framework for Areas beyond National Jurisdiction, published by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, is available online. This document explores how marine spatial planning (MSP) could be applied within areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). MSP is defined as: “a public process of analysing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives that are usually specified through a political process” (Ehler & Douvere, 2009). ABNJ describes the water column beyond Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) or beyond the territorial sea where no EEZ has been declared, as well as the seabed beyond the limits of the continental shelf, known as ‘the Area’ (Kimball, 2005).

The document is available in English and Spanish.

An updated action plan for a sustainable, resilient and competitive blue economy in the European Union Atlantic area is now available on the EU website

Please access A new approach to the Atlantic maritime strategy – Atlantic action plan 2.0 for more details. 




Jul 15

Targeted consultation on International Ocean Governance is launched! The consultation aims at assessing development needs and options for the Agenda in light of today’s challenges and opportunities to deliver ocean-related targets of Agenda 2030 and in particular the Sustainable Development Goal on Conservation and sustainable use of the oceans (SDG14) in support of the European Green Deal.

Stakeholders within and beyond Europe including public authorities, policy-makers, international organisations, NGOs, financial institutions, academic, scientific, social and economic partners are invited to participate until 15 October.

The consultation complements the International Ocean Governance Forum, launched with a virtual event on 22-24 April 2020.

Please find more information here.