As increasing demands are placed on marine space and resources, spatial planning for marine areas has become an important element for implementing policies related to those areas.
The publication by Cormier et al. aims to provide a generic structure on how to set up spatial planning processes in marine areas. This structure offers guidance to practitioners developing the planning processes on what should be incorporated when designing and subsequently managing a process of spatial planning.
The structure and the underlying quality management objectives provided in this document can be applied to all forms of spatial planning in the sea, whether they are driven by economic, ecological, or social objectives and – as stated above – it is part of the planning process to define the objectives in the context of existing legislation and policies. Furthermore, all definitions of marine spatial planning (MSP) emphasize its role as a tool to balance between economic interests and ecological considerations.