Objective: understanding interactions between different maritime activities and between maritime activities and the marine environment.

This sub-component will develop and test tools designed in order to support MSP processes, providing assessments of main conflicts to be addressed, improving stakeholders and decision makers understanding of the spatial distribution of the main issues.

Tools and methods to support the MSP process, will in particular take into account the need to connect Maritime Spatial Planning with the assessment of cumulative impacts on areas. ln line with C1.l. and C1.3.2, geo-referencing and functional tools to support the definition, the analysis of condition and the size of marine areas will be applied.

C 1.3.4.1. Interaction between uses and between uses and environment, including cumulative impacts

Western Mediterranean region show specificities regarding at stake activities and environmental features: discards, seabed mining, coastal tourism, fishing and aquaculture sector, Posidonia meadows, protected species (to be précised with regard to the initial assessment). A better understanding of what interaction could occur between these prior features is crucial to support the planning process.

A review of knowledge about interactions between maritime sectors and about effect of activities on marine environment will be performed though a desk analysis gathering local or national studies and summarizing them through operational tool such as interaction matrices. This action would especially benefit from MFSD and PELAGOS work regarding effects of human activities on the environment.

Then, an operational method will be designed to effectively assess and localize interactions and overlapping issues within the area of interest. This to support the planning steps throughout the overall process. This action will propose a step by step method aiming at identifying and communicating on interaction issues (between activities and between activities and environment). Will be described for each step (locating activities and environment features, locating maritime sectors and environment area of interest, locating major overlapping area and issues associated…) technical aspects (data required, data processing…) and the way that these steps can be integrated within the planning process (communication, dialogue with stakeholders and decision makers). Coordination will be done with methods developed within others projects supported by the commission (SlMCelt, Northern Atlantic and future other calls).

Then a practical test of interaction assessment will be performed on a limited area to be defined (see below C1.3.6)

C 1.3.4.2. Specification and prototyping of Spatial Multi Criteria Decision Aids algorithms dedicated to MSP

MSP is one of the numerous domains in which decision aiding can be used. There is an increase in the use of decision support systems and a global interest in developing these approaches. It has been already demonstrated that MCDA help MSP actors to improve their knowledge of the different options, MCDA techniques allow them to feel more informed about what matter most to them, makes them understand possible benefits and harms of their options, to participate more in the decision aiding process, and to have a better communication with the end-users.

Although MCDA has been available since the early 1980’s, evidence suggests that they are not fully integrated in routine practise. Many active partners of this project in this field, are experimenting MCDA to produce decision support system.

The objective of this task aims to compare the different existing tools all different but together within workshops that will be organised in conjunction with use-case studies (see below C1 .3.6). Comparison criteria used to evaluate MCDA will be based on the interoperability with the other existing tools, the lineage of the decisions made, and the ability to backtrack and to deal with different and sometime conflicting points of view.

A good implementation of the MSP Directive in the transnational areas will depend on the cooperation it will be possible to put in place to preserve a balance in the management of the development of economical activities and protection of environment on the different sides of a boundary and not create a competition among the local territories. The MCDA tools must give comparable results to take such decisions in the different member states.