The Overview Assessment: Summary Information on Marine Aspects of the Celtic Seas Deliverable is now available for download. Produced by Project coordinators UCC, the purpose of this report is to initiate an investigation into the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in transboundary areas of the Celtic Seas. As a foundation of understanding, this document provides an overview of the territiorial boundaries and key environmental characteristics of the region; major maritime activities; key sectoral and socioeconomic trends and pressures and relevant European policy and legislation with a bearing on MSP and transboundary working.
SHOM have recently published their report ‘Analysis of Data Needs and Existing Gaps’
High quality maritime spatial data and information is a key element for implementing MSP. Data and information sharing is allowed by Marine Spatial Data Infrastructures which therefore support transboundary cooperation as well as national efforts linked to MSP. The associated tools are also critical to enable access to data and information as a basis for dialogue with the public and all interested parties, as well as providing support for decision making.
This report aims to give a description of the state of current data needs and gaps and to identify thechallenges and opportunities associated with data and information in support of transboundary MSP in the
SIMCelt partners Scottish Government, Marine Institute and University College Cork represented us at the recent UNESCO MSP 2017 conference in Paris. There were presentations, exhibition stands and posters for delegates to engage with. You can see Caitriona Nic Aonghusa and Celia LeLievre’s posters below
eposter_Caitriona Nic Aonghusa
UoL, UCC, Marine Institute, DAERA and SHOM met in January to collaborate on components where there is complementarity and opportunity for synergies:-
- Spatial Demands and Scenarios for maritime sectors
- Case Study #1 Understanding cross-border issues and challenges
- Case Study #2 Assessment of cumulative impacts in the Irish Sea
- Case Study #4 Understanding and applying ecosystems services to MSP
Discussions resulted in the following suggested list of sectors of particular concern from an ecosystem health/transboundary MSP perspective:
- Ports including dredging
- Offshore renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal)
- Tourism and recreation
- Pipelines and cables
Further to this meeting, UCC has developed a research rationale for Case Study #1 which considers the specific topic of cross border cooperation on maritime transport to be of a suitable scope and scale to warrant attention. Shipping density maps for the Irish Sea are currently being assessed against offshore renewables, fisheries activity and conservation in the Irish Sea.
SHOM have since drafted a document analysing the gaps in Celtic Seas datasets to understand what needs to be done to support transboundary MSP processes between member states.
DAERA are investigating how freely available datasets may help assess Ecosystem Services in transboundary MSP.
The Marine Institute’s work on cumulative impact assessment is developing a matrix as a way to identify and assess the impacts of most concern in specific habitats, work which is likely to be of interest to those involved in marine licensing and marine planning.