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Displaying items by tag: spatial

"Strategic marine activity zones" may be designated in coastal and offshore waters as part of the Government's new approach to marine planning.

Offshore wind projects will receive "preference" in marine areas zoned for this, a new draft framework published this morning by Minister of State for Housing Damien English states.

Renewable energy projects, commercial fishing, mineral extraction, aquaculture and other competing interests, including tourism, will be covered by a new single system of consent under long-promised revised legislation.

"Offshore wind projects will receive "preference" in marine areas zoned for this"

Ireland is actually one of the largest EU states if over 490,000 square kilometres of seabed off a 7,500 km coastline is taken into account, the draft framework notes.

As Afloat previously reported, Mr English has released the State’s first such framework in draft form today for a three month public consultation period.

Ireland and other EU coastal states are obliged to establish marine spatial plans by 2021 under an EU directive, and Mr English’s department has been assigned as lead in this.

The national marine planning framework aims to take a “co-ordinated” and “coherent” approach to management of “our most important resource”, it says/

The State’s “Harnessing our Ocean Wealth” strategy, has already set two economic targets – doubling the value of ocean wealth to 2.4 per cent of gross domestic product by 2030, and increasing the turnover of the ocean economy to exceed €6.4 billion by 2020.

Academics at NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit have reported that Ireland’s “ocean economy” had a turnover at €5.5 billion in 2017.

One single national marine plan will apply to Ireland’s entire maritime area, extending from mean high water mark on the coast to the 200 mile limits of the exclusive economic zone and Continental Shelf.

However, the draft framework says the Government is “committed” to preparation of regional or sub-national plans in future marine spatial policy cycles

The framework will be underpinned by the Government’s Marine Planning and Development Bill, which will replace the existing cumbersome system of foreshore leases and licenses, and will extend beyond territorial waters.

Friction between offshore renewable energy developments and fishing has already taken place in British waters, and the framework aims to plan for competing interests at a time of growing global pressure on marine resources.

Public consultation has already taken place on a baseline report, which elicited 173 responses, and a “strong consensus” emerged that a “hybrid approach” to marine spatial planning, involving zoning for specific activities or zoning certain areas was preferable to “full zoning” of all Ireland’s seas.

Adoption of the final marine planning framework is “expected” to be late 2020. Closing date for submissions on the draft is February 28th, 2020.

The department says it will “not replace or remove existing regulatory regimes or legislative requirements” governing marine sectoral activities, but public bodies will be obliged to take its objectives into account.

When the new legislation is passed, consents will be issued by two departments, depending on remit – the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director Micheál Ó Cinnéide, who is now co-chair of environmental organisation Corrib Beo, welcomed publication of the draft framework.

However, he has questioned why the State’s Marine Institute or a similar experienced body is not being established to provide a secretariat for the plan.

Mr Ó Cinnéide also warned that the plan needs to be given adequate resources, and the department needs to ensure widespread consultation at both regional and local level before final agreement.

“This plan will stand or fall on how well it works in individual coastal bays,” he said.

Regional public events on the draft marine planning framework will open on November 21st in Limerick, continuing to Westport, Co Mayo (Nov 26), Galway (December 2nd), and Tralee, Co Kerry (December 12th), with further events in Killybegs, Co Donegal, Bantry, Co Cork, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, Dublin and Wexford.

Full details are on www.marineplan.gov.ie

Published in Environment
Tagged under

Maritime spatial planning for Ireland takes a step closer this year thanks to an EU directive first adopted in 2014. The directive obliges all coastal Member States to establish maritime spatial plans by 2021. Member States, including Ireland, must transpose the Directive into national law by 18th September 2016. The Goverment is seeking submissions but the deadline is less than a month away.

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is a new way of looking at how we use the marine area and planning how best to use it into the future. Marine industry activists have long argued the lack of ability to licence the oceans that surround us has been the biggest obstable to developing the 'blue economy' for Ireland.

MSP will try to balance the different demands for using the sea including the need to protect the marine environment. It's about planning when and where human activities take place at sea. It’s about ensuring these activities are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Maritime spatial planning involves stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities. 

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has drafted regulations intended for Irish law and it is inviting submissions on the draft regulations. To assist the Dept has prepared a guidance document showing the relationship between the articles of the Directive and the regulations. More details here

The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm on Friday, 6 May 2016

Draft regulations are attached below

Meanwhile, the sixth conference of the MSP stakeholder series, focusing on MSP Worldwide has been postponed. The conference is now confirmed to be held on 23 - 24 June 2016 at the University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Azores.

According to the organisers, the conference will present experiences, opportunities and challenges of MSP implementation around the world. In particular it will look at how MSP can advance Blue Growth world-wide, its potential to promote climate change solutions, as well as at the role of area-based management regimes in international waters. The main purpose is to take stock of what is being done at international level and identify potential synergies as well as possible contributions from European MSP processes.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#spatialplanning– Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is coming to prominence as a new approach to the governance of the seas and oceans.  The European Union has taken important steps to promote the uptake of MSP by Member States. Trans boundary planning in the European Atlantic is a project funded by DG Mare and the first workshop in the project is being held in Newry, Co. Down today.

The project is a partnership between the University of Liverpool and the Coastal Management Resource Centre of UCC. Delegates from a number of N Ireland government departments and the Republic have joined with industry stakeholders to discuss in the workshops some of the issues surrounding MSP. The Irish Marine Federation is the single voice representing the marine leisure sector.

Already the group are settling in to try to develop a methodology to ensure that all sectors will contribute to the debate from a social, environmental and an economic view point.

Steve Conlon of the IMF stated that it is important that the marine leisure industry full engages with this type of forum to ensure that the leisure boating voice continues to be heard.

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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