SmartBlueCity 3rd Euro-Mediterranean conference & Exhibition

Maina, I., Gadolou, E., Bastardie, F., Kavadas, S., Vassilopoulou, V., 2018. Decision Support Tools For Maritime Spatial Planning: Lessons Learned From A Case Study In Central Mediterranean Waters. 2018.
SmartBlueCity 3rd Euro-Mediterranean conference & Exhibition. Larnaca / Cyprus, October 5, Book of Abstracts, 20 p.

Abstract:
For boosting the economic blue growth, Decision Support Tools (DSTs) should transcribe national goals of strategic planning into concrete priority sites also ensuring the sustainable use of the seas. DSTs should recognize that sustainable blue growth calls for an effective allocation of human activities under an ecosystem approach that comprehends economic, social and environmental pillars. These pillars frame the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) directive and the common fisheries policy, and condition the Marine Strategy Framework Directive seeking to achieve and maintain good environmental status in the European seas. Our case study is in the Ionian Sea, which is of great ecological importance because it includes diverse habitats and species of conservation priority. At the mean time it hosts various human activities; fisheries, shipping, aquaculture, tourism take place there and have strong potential for further development, while gas and oil exploitation might also become a big player in the near future. This study aims to describe the application of specific DSTs, in relation to meeting the demands of the MSP process. Indeed, (i) by informing the GRID software we explored the interactions among human activities to identify hot-spots of conflicts between existing and proposed uses; (ii) by following a Cumulative Impact Assessment method we assessed the cumulative impacts of the human activities on key ecosystem components; (iii) by using the MARXAN software we identified areas meeting conservation targets at the minimum socio-economic cost; (iv) by deploying the DISPLACE software we investigated the effects of displacing the fishing on surrounding fishing grounds with tailored fisheries dynamics scenarios. The final aim is to highlight issues emerging from the lessons learned along these applications in order to contribute to the improvement of the MSP process and especially the dialogue with stakeholders required within the ecosystem-based approach to the management of marine space.