Meaden, G.J., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J.,
Corner, R.A., O’Hagan, A.M. & Cardia,
F.
2016. Marine spatial planning for
enhanced fisheries and aquaculture
sustainability – its application in the
Near East. FAO Fisheries and
Aquaculture Technical Paper
No. 604. Rome, FAO.

This document provides a clear and comprehensive account for the application of marine spatial planning (MSP) within the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) region. It builds on regional technical workshops, held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aimed principally at improving the prospects for fisheries and aquaculture in the Near East.

Marine spatial planning provides a step-by-step process that allows for the cooperative integration of the major marine uses and users within a defined marine area. These ordered procedures  allow all stakeholders to work towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of identified marine activities. The principles of the ecosystem approach to both fisheries and aquaculture can readily be incorporated into the process. The output of MSP is the development of a plan that addresses any potentially conflicting uses of the sea, thus enabling the strategic, forward-looking planning for the regulation, zoning, management, protection and sustainability of the marine environment. MSP can best function if it includes continuing reinforcement and adjustments of learned experiences over a long time period.

The document includes three important annexes. The first includes the main recommendations concerning the adoption of marine spatial planning taken from the RECOFI (FAO) Cairo workshop in 2012. The second exemplifies how MSP might best be adopted in Saudi Arabia, with emphasis being placed on the types of marine activities that must be considered and the range of data and their sources that should be procured. The third annex provides a comprehensive listing of additional information about MSP, including worldwide examples where MSP has been applied under varied local conditions at highly variable geographic scales.

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