Preparatory action for MSP in the North Sea

Abstract: 

The project designed a process for cross-border MSP and developed a concept for monitoring and evaluation.

Sea Basin(s): 
Year: 
2012
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Fishery
Offshore renewable energy production
Type of Issue: 
Cross-border cooperation
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Stocktake
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Yes
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Habitats and Birds Directive
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can we approach cross-border MSP in the North Sea?
  • How sufficient is the existing framework for cross-border MSP in Europe?
  • What is needed to facilitate and enable cross-border MSP?

Implementation Context

MASPNOSE was a preparatory action on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the North Sea. MASPNOSE facilitated two concrete, cross-border MSP case studies on the North Sea: 1) the Belgian-Dutch collaboration on the Thornton Bank in the southern North Sea, and 2) the development of an international fisheries management plan for the Dogger Bank in the central North Sea.

Cross-border maritime spatial planning (MSP) requires a pre-agreed process with a clear mandate and responsibilities.  The planning of the countries involved is often not harmonized and conflicting interests can be played out in different arenas.

This project presents the outcome of the MASPNOSE (Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea), a study carried out by six knowledge institutes (Centre for Marine Policy, Deltares, vTI, University of Ghent and DTU-Aqua) at the request of EU DG Mare.

Two case studies in the North Sea were taken up: developing an international fisheries management plan for the Dogger Bank in the central North Sea and an exploration of the potential for collaboration on the Thornton Bank in the southern part of the North Sea.

The Dogger Bank is area under jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The Netherlands, Germany and the UK have allocated their part of the Dogger Bank as an area important for nature (Natura 2000) but at the same time the United Kingdom wants to construct an offshore wind park and it is an important fishing area. The challenge was to develop an international management plan for the area taking into account those constraints.

The Thornton Bank is managed by The Netherlands and Belgium. Here the focus was on potential areas of collaboration for wind-energy and the harmonization of MSP practices.

Aspects / Objectives

  • To develop approaches for cross-border MSP in Europe.
  • To evaluate existing guidance for cross-border MSP.
  • To provide recommendations on developing cross-border MSP.

Method

MASPNOSE focussed on two case studies:

  • Thornton Bank. The case study comprises an area between Belgium and The Netherlands, partly on sand banks located on both sites of the border. Cross-border MSP could aid to address the issue of wind energy, shipping, fisheries management, aquaculture and nature conservation.
  • Dogger Bank. The case study comprises an area between the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Cross-border MSP could aid to address the issue of fisheries management, nature conservation and sustainable energy production.

Main Outputs / Results

Report on-line at: https://www.wageningenur.nl/en/show/Maspnose-Maritime-spatial-planning-i...

  • Key message 1: MSP requires a clear process with identified steps, deliverables and quality assurance.
  • Key message 2: Effective stakeholder involvement in MSP requires a strategic differentiation between front-stage and back-stage transparency.
  • Key message 3: Geo-spatial analyses have an important role in MSP.
  • Key message 4: The EC 10 key principles on MSP are already being applied, but some principles are lacking.
  • Key message 6: MSP with cross-border implications has three potential levels of engagement; coordinating, consulting or informing.

Transferability

The report has most relevance to the North Sea, secondarily to Europe more broadly and with some elements relevant further afield.

Contact Person

Dr Saskia Hommes

Researcher / advisor

Governance and Spatial Planning

Delatares

PO Box 85467

3508 Al Utrecht

The Netherlands

M +31(0)6 101 998 79

Saskia.hommes@deltares.nl

 

Responsible Entity

IMARES Waginengen, Wageningen University, LEI Wageningen UR

Costs / Funding Source

DG MARE

 

 

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