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EU marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) and marine spatial planning (MSP): Which is the more dominant and practicable contributor to maritime policy in the UK?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare Fitzsimmons, Professor Tim Gray



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper is a comparative analysis of the contribution to UK marine governance of two recent EU initiatives: the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). MSFD imposed a duty on Member States to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in four regional seas, while MSP required Member States to replace their fragmented, sector-based system of maritime decision making with an integrated approach. This paper explains MSFD and MSP, examines their relationship, and compares theirpracticability, concluding that MSP is both the more dominant and the more practicable instrument, reflecting the UK's preference for sustainable development over conservationism in marinepolicy. Arecent proposal by the European Commission to make MSP and integrated coastal management a Directive reinforces the UK position.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brennan J, Fitzsimmons C, Gray T, Raggatt L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Policy

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Pages: 359-366

Print publication date: 01/01/2014

Online publication date: 15/08/2013

Acceptance date: 18/07/2013

Date deposited: 04/10/2013

ISSN (print): 0308-597X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9460

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2013.07.011


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