The Marine Institute recently welcomed an international group of experts to Galway to discuss how marine spatial planning is used to balance the different demands for using our ocean. The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM) brought together experts from a range of disciplines to discuss the implementation of marine spatial planning and related research.
Together with students and researchers from NUI Galway, the group participated in the Marine Spatial Planning Challenge Board Game. The interactive game, held at Galway Atlantaquaria on 10th April, provided participants with an appreciation of the processes involved in the sustainable development of our shared marine areas.
Dr Jeff Fisher, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Services at the Marine Institute said, "With an increase in marine activities such as shipping, marine renewable energy and aquaculture there is more pressure on our coastal and marine ecosystems. Engagement with stakeholders is a fundamental element of marine planning, and this board game is an effective tool in encouraging cooperation and exploring the challenges and perspectives."
Dr Liam Carr, Programme Coordinator of the Masters of Science in Coastal and Marine Environments at NUI Galway praised the event, saying it "helped support the continued growth of a vital research community here in Ireland. The evening gave students and experts the opportunity to test out their knowledge, learn from one another, and form lasting professional relationships."
The Marine Spatial Planning Challenge Board Game activity was held as part of the ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management meeting hosted by the Marine Institute from the 8th to 12th April 2019.
"It is essential to review how we currently use our marine areas and plan how to best use them in the future, to ensure the sustainable management of our valuable marine resource for future generations," Dr Fisher said.
Information gathered by this working group is utilised by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to support the preparation of Ireland's National Marine Planning Framework.
Further information is available at the following websites: