C1.2.4. Establish Case Studies on Approaches to MSP Implementation

Specific Objective: To undertake case studies that illustrate how the challenges to MSP implementation, specifically transboundary working, can be addressed.

Complementing and extending the work undertaken in scenarios planning, data needs and stakeholder engagement, a series of case studies (thematic and geographic) will be developed. These case studies will illustrate how MSP implementation is approached within the Celtic Seas area, specifically through examination of localised transboundary working.
An indicative list of case studies, which have been initially scoped out with planning authorities, is provided below to illustrate the kind of topics to be covered; the final list will depend on assessment of those which best contribute to the objectives of SIMCelt against agreed criteria.

Case Study #1: Understanding Specific Cross-Border Issues and Opportunities
Lead partner: UCC

This case study seeks to understand transboundary issues and opportunities from a Celtic Seas perspective and concentrates on shipping and offshore renewable energy. It aims to understand issues and opportunities within the shipping & navigational safety and offshore renewable energy sectors within the MSP process.

The analysis identifies issues within the individual sectors, as well as identifying issues when they come together in the same marine space and the opportunities for both sectors stemming from the implementation of MSP based on interviews with agencies from both sectors.


Issue-specific analysis and recommendations from the case study are aimed at supporting marine planners in the implementation of MSP and the effective, coherent planning of both sectors across the Celtic Seas.


Case Study #2: Assessment of Cumulative Impacts
Lead Partner: Marine Institute

Many policy documents on MSP refer to ‘cumulative impacts or effects’ in some way. The objective of Case study #2 is to establish how cumulative effect assessment methodology can be incorporated into the MSP process. Assessing such impacts is usually beyond the capacity of one organisation, however, SIMCelt provides a significant opportunity to join forces to provide that capacity. The case study will build upon and link with existing initiatives, e.g. OSPAR assessment, DEFRA-led CEA working group.

INFOMAR Survey data showing evidence of abrasion in the Western Irish Sea CS#2 area

Two pilot projects are currently underway as part of this case study to test CEA methodologies, in the Irish Sea and off the North Brittany coast (see study area map for details). The pilot projects are demonstrating cumulative effects resulting from seabed disturbance (e.g. abrasion, smothering and substrate loss) and how they impact on benthic habitats.  We have mapped the contributing human activities, habitats and conservation zones in these areas and have carried out an assessment of the resulting environmental pressures and the sensitivity of habitats.


Recommendations on cumulative effects assessment methodology (including contributing analyses such as pressures, sensitivity, interaction pathways) supported by case examples/piloting.




Case Study #3: Planning Across Borders
Lead Partner: Scottish Government

Wherever a boundary is drawn, the challenge of achieving a coherent approach across that boundary is created. This case study will look at distinct localities where cross-border cooperation between marine planning authorities and the challenge of effective stakeholder engagement is brought into sharp focus. The area of study is the Solway Firth (see study area map). The case study will explore practical application of cooperation on transboundary working within ecologically coherent units, for example: how to assess and ‘align’ what is said in marine plans on different sides of a marine border, and what approach to stakeholder engagement arrangements (if any) needs to be taken in order to ensure effective ‘join up’.


Case study report on possible approaches to cross-border cooperation including stakeholder engagement mechanisms.


Case Study #4: Understanding and Applying Ecosystem Services to MSP
Lead Partners: DAERA/UCC

At both European and national levels there is a requirement to adopt an ecosystem approach to MSP. The challenge is to understand the concept, including economic valuation of services under different scenarios.

CS #4 uses the Irish Sea to study ecosystem services. Outputs from the case study will be displayed in a user-friendly ESRI Storymap that will combine maps with narrative text, and images. The case study will focus on a few examples of how to understand the concept of provisioning, regulating and cultural ES in a sufficiently practical way that can be applied by maritime planners.


Case study report with recommendations of analysis or conclusions that can be taken account of in Member States’ relevant plans plus lessons learned for transfer to other locations.

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