Project 1 aims to identify and map datasets of relevance to the MSP process and review their validity. It will provide up-to-date spatial and temporal information on marine ecosystems and human activities taking place within Ireland’s maritime domain to support marine spatial planning.
This project will build on Project 1 Data Discovery, Collation and Gap Analysis for Spatial Representation. Specifically Project 2 aims to provide up-to-date spatial and temporal information by filling in gaps in knowledge required to support MSP, regarding human activities, pressures, resource distribution etc.
This project involves data collection, collation and analytical studies to identify, characterise and map Ireland’s marine provisioning, regulating / maintenance and cultural services. There is currently a lack of information available about marine ecosystem services in Ireland.
This project will explore and develop the evidence on climate change implications for MSP. A review of existing MSP will summarise best practice approaches for incorporating climate change in marine spatial plans.
Project 5 will review the available modelling and decision support tools for MSP. These may relate to data provision, pressures and impacts of human activities. This project will identify best practice technical tools in the Irish context.
Project 6 will improve understanding of what marine data are available to form a basis for improved MSP-related products and decision support tools.
The aim of Project 7 is to ensure reliable data storage and management systems. This will provide assurance of the availability and versioning of data. Improved data archiving will support legislative compliance and reduce costs by only retaining data which are required.
The aim of the Research Initiatives is to understand a specific research gap linked to MSP. It is proposed to initiate an investigation into marine invasive species and their relevance to MSP. Nationally, there is an acknowledged gap in the availability of Marine Invasive Species Surveillance and Mapping. Projects 8&9 are due to commence in 2018.
The native European flat oyster is depleted throughout its former European range. Ireland still has a number of extant populations some of which are commercially fished but production and productivity is much reduced compared to historic levels.
As part of the European Habitats Directive (EC 92/43/EEC), Member States need to take measures to avoid deterioration of protected habitats. Ireland is carrying out extensive mapping surveys of offshore reefs to evaluate status and introduce conservation and management measures in proportion to status and pressures from fishing. This study has been identified as high priority by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DCHG) for the marine environment to fulfil Ireland’s obligations under the Habitats Directive.