09 November 2018
By Christine Pascoe, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Project 11 is about considering climate change in marine spatial planning (MSP) and the subsequent resilience and sensitivities of marine resources, upon which communities depend economically and culturally.  We will be using climate impact models to highlight vulnerabilities and resilience within marine ecosystems, when subject to modelled pressures such as climate change impact, fisheries and land run-off.  By plotting human uses in case study areas, such as marine renewable energy and tourism expansion, as well as the location of Marine Protected Areas, we can illustrate how activities could exacerbate environmental degradation and provide information to support strategies and management solutions to minimise such outcomes. Similarly, modelling climate change scenarios may also identify opportunities for growth in the use of the marine environment and resources, to benefit the local communities economically and socially.

Currently, we are sourcing and compiling GIS data of habitat distribution and human activities, working in collaboration with other projects within Blue Communities that are gathering similar data. The work pace will accelerate in January when the project lead, Ana Queiros, returns from maternity leave. We will then work closely with our overseas partners to identify MSP priority sectors, species and habitats of economic, ecological and cultural relevance.

Project 11 will provide information to support marine managers in case-study regions and enable them to make decisions and develop solutions in MSP, whilst considering the resilience and vulnerabilities of the marine environment to climate change and human use. Knowledge gleaned from climate impact models will aid the development of adaptation and mitigation options.

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Project 11: Ecosystem level policy and management options
Project lead: Dr Ana Queiros (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), Christine Pascoe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)