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MPAs - benefit or challenge?

Published by FiskerForum, 11-05-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

If your work brings you into contact with Marine Protected Areas, do you see them as positive in providing benefits or negative in limiting what you can do? Do they support or restrict your business or other activities, and how do they contribute to the blue economy?

Researchers are Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) want to understand your views.

MPAs are recognised as a key tool for marine conservation and already cover significant parts of some sea basins around Europe. In parallel, the ‘blue economy’ – industries based upon the ocean and its products - and demand for marine space across Europe is growing. The ‘blue economy’ is expected to play a significant role within the central EU policy of promoting jobs and growth.

A widespread concern is that MPAs may constrain economic activity, adding costs to businesses and restricting opportunities for growth and jobs, even for those industries that are expected to benefit from improved marine biodiversity and environmental conditions more generally.

According to the team at PML, to ensure that the planning and management of MPAs can be taken forward to maximise benefits – for the marine environment, to the blue economy and society more generally - the linkages between maritime sectors and the potential benefits of MPAs need to be better understood.

‘There is a need to integrate these linkages into decisions surrounding the management of MPAs,’ the researchers say.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory is carrying out a survey to find out how MPAs and other spatial protection measures provide benefits to the blue economy.

‘We want to examine what these economic benefits are and how they are gained. We are also interested in the role of MPA governance in conflict management, the creation of win-win situations between multiple users and the sustainable use of MPAs,’ PML’s team says.

‘Whether you are an MPA manager or work in ‘blue economy’ sectors we would like to hear your opinions. No matter which part of the ‘blue economy’ you are involved in (fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and recreation, energy, shipping transport, seaports and marinas, blue biotechnology, seabed aggregates and other mining, dredging and offshore construction) we would like to know what you think of MPAs and their economic impact.’

The PML survey is here: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WWK6G/ and takes a few minutes to complete.

Source: PML

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