Marine Spatial Planning 2013

Northern Fulmar (photo: Peter Hodum)

Northern Fulmar (photo: Peter Hodum)

The 40th Annual Pacific Seabird Group meeting will be held 21-23 Feb in Portland OR.

Marine Spatial Planning and seabird research is from 10 AM to 5 PM on Friday 22 Feb at the Hilton Downtown in the Broadway ballroom. Featuring 19 speakers conducting research and/or supporting marine spatial planning in Canada, USA, Japan and South America.

For more information, and to register for the conference, go to the Pacific Seabird Group website.

Seabirds and Marine Spatial Planning

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a public process to analyse and allocate the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in a practical way, balancing the demands for development with protecting the marine environment. Marine spatial planning is usually specified through a political process to achieve multiple objectives and address ecological, economic and social values. Marine spatial planning is a well-described process that requires excellent spatial data sources for marine species, habitats and human activities.  While the steps for MSP look great on paper, actual processes span years, if not decades, and a marine ornithologist’s exposure to the full process is rare. Participation by scientists in MSP may be infrequent or disconnected from the governing authority, yet the desire to collect and contribute relevant data remains strong.

In this special paper session, presentations from marine policy experts and scientists will provide concrete examples for most of the steps in a marine spatial planning process. Speakers will begin the session by introducing the authority and need for spatial planning in the USA, Canada, and North Sea. Scientists will then use field studies, models, and innovative techniques to define and analyse current conditions, resolve spatial conflicts with human uses, discuss predictive approaches for future conditions, address monitoring issues, and develop marine bird indicators. With research from Japan to the Atlantic, and the Arctic to South America, this special paper session will increase understanding of MSP and the role that seabird biologists can play in ensuring high quality data are used to inform marine planning decisions.

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