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Co-location of activities and designations: A means of solving or creating problems in marine spatial planning?

Christie, N.; Smyth, K.; Barnes, Richard; Elliott, M.


N. Christie

K. Smyth

Richard Barnes

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Professor Mike Elliott
Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies


Worldwide demand for energy is growing and predicted to increase by up to three times by 2050. Renewable energy will play a vital role in meeting this demand whilst maintaining global climate change targets. Around the British Isles, development of wind farms has entered Round three, with large, high capacity wind parks being planned to enhance energy security and achieve 2020 renewable energy targets. Such developments place additional pressure on existing sea space and may result in conflicts with other marine activities and users. Co-location of certain activities, marine protected areas, aquaculture and commercial fishing in particular, has therefore been proposed as an option to ease demands on space. Using the UK guided by EU and regional policy, as a case study, following the criteria-based planning system, co-location is legally feasible. Crucially, co-location options will depend on site specific characteristics and site management plans. The biology, ecology and hydrology of the site as well as consideration of important commercial and economic factors will be determining factors of success. For marine protected areas compatibility with conservation objectives for the site will be fundamental. Where possible, it is suggested that activities suitable for co-location will develop in tandem with renewable energy projects. The importance of developing joint projects in this manner is particularly true for aquaculture projects to ensure tenure security and commercial viability. Adaptive management will be a basis for evolution of the concept and practice of co-location. Pilot projects and continued monitoring will be essential in shaping the future of co-location of activities. As the Marine Management Organisation continues the development of marine plans for the English inshore and offshore waters, a study into potential solutions for resolving sea use conflicts is timely. This paper therefore provides a concise overview of the current regulation affecting co-location of key marine activities within wind farm zones and provides suggestions on how co-location projects can be adopted and taken forward, using the UK as a case study. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Christie, N., Smyth, K., Barnes, R., & Elliott, M. (2014). Co-location of activities and designations: A means of solving or creating problems in marine spatial planning?. Marine Policy, 43, 254-261.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 7, 2013
Online Publication Date Jul 1, 2013
Publication Date 2014-01
Deposit Date May 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 19, 2015
Journal Marine policy
Print ISSN 0308-597x
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Pages 254-261
Keywords Wind farms, Aquaculture, Marine spatial planning, Marine protected areas, Fisheries
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an author's accepted manuscript of an article first published in: Marine policy, 2014, v.43.


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