Life Below Water

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Maritime Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development

Living reference work entry



Maritime spatial planning and marine spatial planning (in both cases, MSP) are the two most commonly used nomenclatures when referring to the process of analyzing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas. MSP is a practical way to organize the use of the ocean space, minimizing conflicts and fostering compatibilities among human uses (e.g., fisheries, offshore aquaculture, renewable energy, tourism, or shipping) and between uses and the environment, and aiming to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives (Ehler and Douvere 2009; Agardy 2010; Zaucha and Gee 2019).

MSP is a continuous and interactive process that must be regularly funded and adapted. Indeed, it includes several key phases and steps, linked through many feedback loops (Ehler and Douvere 2009): (1) identifying the need for...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of the AzoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  2. 2.Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaCascaisPortugal
  3. 3.Environmental Economics Knowledge CentreNova School of Business and EconomicsCarcavelosPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anabela Marisa Azul
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) & Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal