Barriers and opportunities for improved governance of fisheries within the context of marine spatial planning.

Rachel Shucksmith, Inne Withouck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The use of the marine environment has grown rapidly since the 1950s, when historically fisheries and navigation enjoyed near exclusive use. As human uses of marine space have expanded (e.g. marine renewables, oil and gas, aquaculture etc.), developing frameworks which effectively manage environmental impacts and conflicts between new and existing users have proved to be challenging. While national and international legislation and regulation have improved how environmental impacts such as water quality are managed, conflicts between users pose a different type of challenge, sometimes termed ‘wicked problems’. Challenges faced by decision-makers include how to make trade-offs between wider societal aims and values such as decarbonising energy creation via offshore renewable energy, with the impacts on existing users such as fisheries and navigation, as well as onshore communities. These challenges are difficult to legislate or regulate, however, recognition of wicked problems can allow the focus to shift towards solutions. Here we examine how fisheries are currently included within marine spatial planning processes globally, and pose the question of how can MSP and fisheries be integrated to improve ocean governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoverning Oceans
Subtitle of host publicationPolicy Development, Implementation and Evaluation
EditorsCatherine Jones
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)9781035315598
ISBN (Print)9781035315581
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024


  • ocean governance
  • spatial mapping
  • policy
  • law
  • marine


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