Marine Spatial Planning By,

Marine Spatial Planning 11

Marine Spatial Planning

By,

Unit Title

Marine spatial planning can be defined as the process of bringingtogether various forms of ocean users together (Conservancy U.S,2008). Some of the multiple users in his case include the energysector, relevant government agencies, industry, conservationorganizations and recreation facilities (Assouline, Reho &amp Musco,2007). This process provides the necessary information andcoordinates the sustainable use of economic resources (ConservancyU.S, 2008). To achieve its primary objective, the system uses maps toidentify the specific locations of the sea and how the naturalresources exist and are being utilized (Earle 2009). The planning andmapping process involves experts and professionals from variousbackgrounds regarding competence and ability (IntergovernmentalOceanographic Commission, 2007).

The process of mapping and planning provides the opportunity for therelevant bodies to facilitate the cumulative effect of maritimeindustries on the relevant water bodies (Assouline, Reho &amp Musco,2007). This is aimed at ensuring that the seas are sustainablethereby reducing the possibility of conflicts between groups sharingthe sea (Brandon et al., 2013). Strict adherence to the environmentalconditions and the limits that have been set are aimed at ensuringthat the maritime ecosystem remains healthy, and the conservation ofbiodiversity is given the utmost importance (Royal Town PlanningInstitute, 1900).

Other additional definitions of marine spatial planning have auniversal consensus on the need to achieve ecological balance andpromote biodiversity conservation (Hilburn &amp Hilburn, 2012). TheUnited Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizationdefines marine spatial planning as the process of that involvesanalysis and allocation of the spatial distribution of humanresources and marine areas with the sole purpose of achieving bothecological and social objectives (Wong, Yuen &amp Goldblum, 2008).Such targets are always entrenched and determined by the politicalsystems. As such, various territories across the globe have developedmechanisms to ensure strict adherence to the laws governing thecrowded use of territorial sea waters (Brandon et al., 2013).

Therefore, to achieve the effectiveness of conservation that isdesired, the marine spatial planning includes various elements (Allen&amp Garmestani, 2013). Some of the items that are utilized in thiscase include policies and regulations, interlinked systems of plans,as well the components of environmental management systems such asthe establishment of objectives, the initial assessments,implementation of the program, monitoring of the outcomes, audit andreview of the performance (Great Britain, 2008). To achieve aneffective marine spatial planning, various essential attributes haveto be met. To begin with, it must be multi-objective so as to be ableto balance numerous objectives such as ecological, social, economic,and government objectives. However, the primary goal of the marinespatial planning should focus primarily on sustainability (GreatBritain &amp Great Britain, 2013).

Another essential attribute relates to marine spatial planning beingspatially focused. In this case, the area of the ocean that is to bemanaged should be explicitly defined in addition to ensuring that itis ideally at the ecosystem level. The area under considerationshould be sufficient to make sure that in can incorporate anecosystem process. Finally, the marine spatial planning should beintegrated. As such, the process of planning should be in a positionto address the nature of interrelationships and interdependence ofeach of the components that fall within the management area. Suchcomponents include activities that individuals are likely to engagein, the natural processes and authorities in charge of managing allthe activities of such an area.

Current Situation of the Irish Sea

According to the Department of Environment on the Marine Plan Processin Northern Ireland, there is need to ensure that environmentalconservation efforts are increased. The Marine and Coastal Access Act2009 in addition to the Department of Environment are the majoragencies tasked with the preparing of marine plans to be used in themanagement of Northern Ireland Marine area. This area is composed oftwo sections namely the onshore and offshore regions. There arevarious legislative requirements that are contained in the CoastalAccess Act 2009 that aid the offshore region of Northern Ireland.

Some of the rules that are contained in these legislations includelegislations that indicate that form time to time, the relevantmarine agencies are required by law to prepare report that acts toidentify plans and further indicate any intentions that theauthorities may have with regard to amending the existing marineplans. The Marine and Coastal Act 2009 came into operation inNovember 2009 and as such a report should be presented to theNorthern Ireland Assembly after a period of six years. This isspecifically in relation to the Northern Ireland offshore locations.

The Department of Environment is currently engaging stakeholders inthe preparation of a marine plan for Northern Ireland. This is as ameans of fulfilling its role as the sole Marine Plan Authority. Someof the key milestones that have been achieved by the agency so farinclude the issuance of a formal notice with regard to thepreparation of a marine plan to the Secretary of State. This hasrequired the input of various stakeholders such as schools, the widerpublic and non-governmental organization. The organization has alsoconducted a sustainability appraisal workshop as a means ofencouraging advocacy in the society.

Development of MSP in the UK

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 include a series of systemsconcerning marine management (Douvere, 2010). They include theconcept of introducing marine spatial planning across the UnitedKingdom. The government developed the new marine planning systemprimarily to facilitate the management of problems and challengesfacing the maritime sector holistically (Scotland &amp Highland,2012). To achieve the desirable objectives, there should be aconsiderable interaction between town and county planning regimes inboth Wales and England. It is for this reason that the NationallySignificant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) was constituted (Tedsen,Cavalier &amp Kramaer, 2013).

The Marine Policy Statement in the United Kingdom

The basis of operations of the marine spatial planning solely restson the Marine Policy Statement (MPS). The policy statement is bindingto the United Kingdom Government, Welsh Assembly Government, ScottishGovernment, and Northern Ireland Executive. It has set the activityspecific policy objectives that must be met by all the governments.It also acts as the framework for the preparation of marine plans aswell as the implementation of decisions relating to the marineenvironment in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.Additionally, the MPS establishes the licensing policies as well asdeveloping the necessary authorization systems for all theterritories (Tedsen, Cavalier &amp Kramaer, 2013).

The Marine Management Organization

The management of marine spatial planning is conducted by the marinemanagement organization (MMO) in England. It started beingoperational in 2010 and aimed at the delivery of the United KingdomMarine Objectives to England. This will be achieved through theimplementation of Statutory Marine Plans and other forms oflegislations. The MMO was expected to draw its first plan 2011(Harris, Baker &amp Geottab2007, 2011).

The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. In2012, the Irish Sea Maritime Focus (ISMF) was established(Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, 1994). Additionally, theNorthern Irish front is under the management of Marine EnvironmentDivision that is tasked with the task of protecting the marine whilealso maximizing on the sustainable use of resources. This is tosafeguard the lives of the future generations. Other tasks that arefacilitated by this agency include the management of bathing water,historic environment, licensing of marine and wildlife relatedactivities and the shellfish waters.

Fishing

Though the Northern Ireland coastline just 650km, it still plays amassive role in the conservation efforts. According to the history ofIrish Sea, fishing has been one of the longest practices in theterritorial seas. As such, it remains the most fundamental to theeconomic and social well-being of many rural areas along the coasts.In the earlier days, the sea was known for its vast and varied fleetrange of species. Some of the target offshore species were notlimited to Cod, Haddock, Whiting, Pollack, Turbot, Mackerel, Herring,and Sole (Yates, 2016). Others included Hakes and Nephrops. However,as a result of the massive decline in the number of white fishspecies, there as a corresponding decrease in the number of vesselsthat targeted them. More attention shifted to the Dublin Bay Prawnsotherwise known as Nephrops. However, currently, most of the singleships are more focused on individual species (O’Connell 2012). Thenumber of shellfish aquaculture has also witnessed a substantialincrease over the years. The North West quarter of the Irish Sea isone of the areas in which there is more fishing effort. This area islocated between Northern Island and Isle of Man (Brooker &ampScottish Environment LINK (Organization), 2015). In conclusion, itcan be stated that fishing activities have witnessed a massivedecline over the last few years with the exception of increasingdredging activities for scallops.

Marine Energy

The United Kingdom is the world’s leader when it comes to offshorewind development. According to DEEC, there are more than 700 turbinesthat have been installed. The most common form of marine energyaround the Irish Sea is the offshore wind energy. However, there areother potential sources of marine energy such as algae farming,tidal, and wave (Gary, 2005). Both the tide and wave energytechnologies are still at their inceptions and as such areresponsible for the production of the only 4MW in terms of prototypesundergoing testing in the United Kingdom. DEEC has developed anestimation of between five and ten years during which the wave andtidal energy will be operational. Some of the energy firms hat arealready operational in the Irish Sea include (1&amp2, 67MW, 51turbines), Barrow (90MW, 30 turbines), Burbo Bank (90MW, 25turbines).There also a planned extension of Dong Energy (234 MW). Morerecently, an announcement that a bid for the delivery of offshorewind facilities was won by the First Flight Wind consortium composedof Dong Energy, B9, and RES, was made public. The new project isexpected to be responsible for the generation of 600MW (Gilliland etal., 2014).

Ports and Shipping

According to the available statistics, more than 95% and 99% of cargointo the United Kingdom and Ireland respectively arrive by sea. Therethe ports have a higher economic status in such nations in comparisonto other forms of transportation. The Irish Sea plays an integralrole in the providing the necessary access points for both importsand exports into the countries. Not only is it important as an areaof ports but also acts as a location for shipping and shipbuildingactivities. In conjunction with other ports such as Belfast, Dublin,Liverpool and Glasgow, they provide links for both cargo and humanbeings between several nations such as the United Kingdom, Isle ofMan, and Ireland. They also connect to the mainland and the rest ofEurope (Gilliland et al., 2014). This sector also contributesmassively to the management of ports in areas relating to variousfactors such as passenger transport and fisheries, freight, dredgingareas for port expansions, and as a land developer. Additionally, itfacilitates the maintenance of navigable ways to enable accessibilityto far inland, as well as the provision of offshore energy products(Earle 2009).

Leisure and Recreation

In 2010, the National Trust Coastal Values Survey revealed that 63%of individuals who visited the seaside or coasts regarded suchlocations to be essential to their quality of life. The Irish Sealinehas established itself as the ultimate tourism zone (Langton &ampUniversity of Aberdeen, 2013). The area’s estimated population is 6million within the 10 kilometers coastal stretch along the Irish Sea.Therefore, this area forms the major use for tourism activities.According to the Irish Sea, Pilot Study estimated an estimation ofgeneration of $2.5 billion per annum. Additionally, this sectoremploys averagely between 100,000 and 200,000 people. These locationsare endowed with resorts that attract individuals from differentplaces across the globe. However, the changing tourism marketdynamics and need have led to a substantial decline in the number oftourism activities within this region (Blundell, 2004). Some of theattractive features within the Irish Sea that have acted to increasetourism activities include rock climbing, sailing, powerboats,walking, coasteering, and sea swimming. Other activities, in thiscase, include wind surfing, kite surfing, diving, angling, andeco-trips. The major destinations of the Irish Sea include Liverpool,Belfast, and Dublin (Agardy, 2010).

Environment

Environmental Conservation ahs continued to attract various concernsacross the globe (Craig, 2012). The need to control the environmentaldegradation programs has led to a substantial increase in the numberof rules and regulations formulated through numerous internationalconventions that are binding to all individuals (Finkl &ampWakowski, 2014). For the Irish Sea, there are several diverse coastalas well as a marine environment that are given concertedconsiderations. Some of the priority habitats within this locationinclude Estuarine rocky habitats, sabellaria alveolata reefs,seagrass beds, salt marshes, and fragile sponge (Great Britain,2011). This area is also known for the existence of priority species.Such species include vertebrates and fish (Pillard et al., 2009). Themarine mammals found within this location include basking shark andbottlenose dolphin. The marine birds, on the other hand, includeRed-throated diver, storm petrel, and great northern diver(Grande-Bretagne, 2005). The Quality Status Report 2010 highlightsthe threats and other challenges facing the Celtic Sea Region thatincludes the Irish Sea. Such risks are associated witheutrophication, excessive fishing, coastal defense and mineralextraction, and pollution from hazardous substances (Langton &ampUniversity of Aberdeen, 2013). These factors are deemed to have adirect influence on the increasing need for extra marine spaces andresources by shipping establishments (Scotland &amp Highland, 2012).

Recommended ProjectThis project will focus on theprovision of wind energy. As a means of providing sustainable energyfor both household and industrial use, Northern Ireland under theMarine and Coastal Access Act 2013 have focused on the need to ensurethat sustainability of the Northern Ireland marine area.

Location

According to initial plans, a consortium of firms was to engage inthe construction of the wind energy that would be used to supplyelectricity to Northern Ireland. However, over time, the plan wasscrapped. The client should focus his efforts in using the wind firmlocated in County Down. This is an offshore location between NorthernIreland and Ireland. This is because there are existinginfrastructure that had been put in place by the First Flight WindConsortium, Ding Energy, and RES.

Power and Turbines

The wind project is expected to be achieved through the installationof wind turbines. Currently, the specific number of wind turbines isyet to be determined. The project capacity should be set at 540MW.This is enough energy to supply green electricity to more than500,000 homes. However, some of the basic requirements will requirefurther analysis and determination before the client can focus on theactual specifications. They include model of turbines to be used inthe project, number of turbines required, hub height, and robotdiameter. The wind speed for the project will be based on the 10 yearmean wind speed for a period spanning between 2000 and 2009.

Current Legislative and Planning Policy

Various legal frameworks and policy drivers relate to the managementof the marine spatial planning program (Wright, Dwyer &amp Cummins,2011). The system drivers depend on the nature of the activity beingundertaken and as such include fishing, marine energy, ports andfisheries, leisure, and the environment. In our case, the policieswill have to take into consideration laws from both Northern Irelandand Ireland in relation to marine activities.

Fishing

Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by the European Union is the primaryfishing policy driver in the Irish Sea. The main aim of thisinstitution is to ensure that the fish levels are at sustainablelevels (Report, 1970). There are standard management tools that areutilized in this case, and they include restrictions on gear types,limitation on the limited number of days at sea, and quotas limitingtotal allowable catch (TACs). In addition to these policy drivers,various European directives are utilized, and they include theHabitats Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Theseare the policies used in the management of changes that are requiredin the conservation of marine ecosystems (Jay, 2008). Additionally,the play an integral role in the designation of marine protectedareas and locations where fishing activities are to be restricted(University of Virginia et al., 2006). The areas chosen under suchconsiderations should ensure that the fishery activities are limitedin line with the existing international standards and regulations(Report, 1970). Even though such areas can be used t be to enhancethe economic performances of the economies, there are growingconcerns among the conservationists on the need to ensure thesustainability of the ecosystems (Agardy, 2010). Challenges stillexist in the selection of process of the sites as well as potentialimpact of the displaced effort (Jay, 2008).

Marine Energy

According to the Climate Change Act 2008, there was the need toreduce the carbon emissions by approximately 80% by 2050. This numberis expected to be 34% by 2020. According to the renewable directiveissued in 2009, 20% of the total energy should be obtained fromrenewable. Another legislative framework that governs the marineenergy sector is the Low Carbon Transition Plan, Renewable EnergyTransmission, and Renewable Energy Strategy (Shields &amp Payne,2014). The Renewable Energy Roadmap shows critical stages in thedeployment of wave and tidal devices. Additionally, through thisplatform, investment funding for demonstration purposes is secured.In the United Kingdom, the Energy Bill was presented in 2012(Douvere, 2010). According to this bill, the delivery of safe,affordable low carbon energy is given the primary importance(Hueltman &amp Cushman, 2009). This bill has also been credited formaking provisions for the Electricity Market Reform through theintroduction of the relevant legislative frameworks that facilitatethe efficiency in ensuring sustainability of the ecosystems (Shields&amp Payne, 2014).

Ports and Shipping

The policy in the ports and shipping sectors are driven by twoprimary sources. To begin with, the Integrated Maritime Policy wasestablished at the European level. Another policy that falls underthis level is the Blue Growth initiatives that were recentlydeveloped. Their primary objective is to provide support to themaritime sector through the removal of administrative barriers togrowth while encouraging research and innovation at the same time(Hueltman &amp Cushman, 2009). For the Blue Growth initiative, it istailored to ensure effectiveness in areas with potential which arethus deemed to be of high relevance to the ports and shippingportfolios of the Irish Sea. At the national level, there have beenconcerted efforts to link the maritime transportation networks withthe road transport systems and this is aimed at ensuring the safetyof the energy supplies (Johanessen, Nordisk &amp Nordisk, 2014).

Leisure and Recreation

The Irish Sea is ranked among pone of the most popular locations forboth the local and international tourism activities. This ishighlighted in the massive prominence given to the region regardingINTERREG programs (Hueltman &amp Cushman, 2009). Two major programsnamely, the Ireland, and Wales and the Northern Ireland as well asthe Border Regions of Ireland and Western Scotland 2007-2013 programsgovern all forms of operations within the Irish Sea (Johanessen,Nordisk &amp Nordisk, 2014). The programs have been able to identifythe important role played by tourism and marine locations in theeconomic developments (Agardy, 2010).

Environmental Impact Assessment

This is a term used to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of aplan or policy on the environment. It includes an extensivedescription of the likely environmental effects of engaging in anyform of operations. Engaging may have both positive and negativeeffects on the environment. As a result of the fact that this programis being conducted on the Irish Sea, there is increased adherence tothe environmental concerns that are likely to be raised in this case.This section of the paper will identify various strengths andweaknesses that arise from the implementation of the policy.

Some of the benefits of this program on the environment wouldinclude:

  • There will be reduced reliance on fossil fuels as a result of the use of tidal and waves energy.

  • This form of energy will allow the participation of some of the leading operators in the industry thereby leading to adherence to environmental conservation.

  • The development of ancillary industries when developing marine energy will prove useful to the conservation of the environment.

  • The activity will be beneficial in improving environmental understanding as well as the collection of data to facilitate future research

  • The funding of the research process will provide information that can then be utilized by the policymakers in developing regulations.

  • The project will ensure that homes are powered annually through the use of green electricity that conserve the ecological systems.

  • Carbon dioxide emission will be substantially reduced per year by 772947 tones

  • The sulphur dioxide emissions will also be reduced by 17976 tons annually

The downside of the process will include the following:

  • Some of the activities that the company will engage in might turn out to be incompatible. An example is the case of energy installation and aggregate extraction.

  • Due to the increased activities within the Irish Sea, it will lead to overcrowding of the limited space in the Irish Sea.

  • There are high risks of disjointment in understanding the consenting process. This might result in a lower planning process which might affect environmental conservation.

  • There is likely to be a change in the funding regime and this would make the renewable energy less attractive.

  • There will be increased health concerns if the existing regulations are not taken into consideration.

Stakeholders

The project will have to seek the permission of authorities fromIreland and Northern Ireland. The decision to venture into marineenergy will require the input of various stakeholders. These arelikely to range from the financiers who will have to conduct aprofitability analysis of the project. Secondly, the relevantauthorities in charge of the energy activities within the Irish Seawill have to be consulted. This will ensure that the company meetsthe safety standards that have been established. The input of theemployees will also have to be taken into consideration when making adecision to venture into marine energy.

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