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Practical tools to support marine spatial planning: A review and some prototype tools


  • Stelzenmüller, Vanessa
  • Lee, Janette
  • South, Andy
  • Foden, Jo
  • Rogers, Stuart I.


Marine planners use spatial data to assess planning options. They need analytical approaches, methods, applications and practical software tools to enable assessment of the relationships between human uses and ecosystem components. Here the results of a two-stage process, aimed at developing practical and GIS-based tools for direct use by planners, are presented. First, some available tools for use in the early stages of plan development were reviewed; for example, to identify interaction between activities to reduce potential conflicts or assist in zone delineation, methods to facilitate a risk assessment of the cumulative effect of human pressures and tools offering decision support. Second, a stakeholder workshop was organised to identify routine marine planning tasks and the technical tools required to support those tasks. From the 39 practical tools reviewed, mostly published in peer-reviewed literature between 1998 and 2009, the majority have been applied in the marine environment in Europe, USA and Australia. It was observed that many of the tools are designed to be used by scientists, programmers or strategic planners with only a few that could be used by case officers (regulators). Together with the results of the stakeholder workshop a suite of prototype tools were developed that offer utility to marine planners. Thus the developed tools provide a solid basis for future development as they are a result of a transparent and participatory process.

Suggested Citation

  • Stelzenmüller, Vanessa & Lee, Janette & South, Andy & Foden, Jo & Rogers, Stuart I., 2013. "Practical tools to support marine spatial planning: A review and some prototype tools," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 214-227.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:38:y:2013:i:c:p:214-227
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.05.038

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    Cited by:

    1. Tammi, Ilpo & Kalliola, Risto, 2014. "Spatial MCDA in marine planning: Experiences from the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 73-83.
    2. Xin-Wei Li & Hong-Zhi Miao, 2022. "How to Incorporate Blue Carbon into the China Certified Emission Reductions Scheme: Legal and Policy Perspectives," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(17), pages 1-15, August.
    3. Zimmer, Beth & Manzello, Leslie & Madsen, Keld & Sinclair, James & Green, Rebecca E., 2014. "An innovative ocean planning tool for the Atlantic outer continental shelf: The EcoSpatial Information Database," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 60-68.
    4. Dentoni, Domenico & Klerkx, Laurens, 2015. "Co-managing public research in Australian fisheries through convergence–divergence processes," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 259-271.
    5. Sebastian Ernst Volkmann & Thomas Kuhn & Felix Lehnen, 2018. "A comprehensive approach for a techno-economic assessment of nodule mining in the deep sea," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 31(3), pages 319-336, October.
    6. Giulio Farella & Anna Nora Tassetti & Stefano Menegon & Martina Bocci & Carmen Ferrà & Fabio Grati & Amedeo Fadini & Otello Giovanardi & Gianna Fabi & Saša Raicevich & Andrea Barbanti, 2021. "Ecosystem-Based MSP for Enhanced Fisheries Sustainability: An Example from the Northern Adriatic (Chioggia—Venice and Rovigo, Italy)," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(3), pages 1-28, January.
    7. Cheng-Chung Cho & Rui-Hsin Kao, 2022. "A Study on Developing Marine Space Planning as a Transboundary Marine Governance Mechanism—The Case of Illegal Sand Mining," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(9), pages 1-26, April.
    8. Kelly, Christina & Gray, Lorraine & Shucksmith, Rachel & Tweddle, Jacqueline F., 2014. "Review and evaluation of marine spatial planning in the Shetland Islands," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 152-160.
    9. Maurizio Sajeva & Marjo Maidell & Jonne Kotta, 2020. "A Participatory Geospatial Toolkit for Science Integration and Knowledge Transfer Informing SDGs Based Governance and Decision Making," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(19), pages 1-19, September.


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