Multi-uses in the Eastern Atlantic: Building bridges in maritime space

Helena Calado, Eva A. Papaioannou, Mario Caña-Varona, Vincent Onyango, Jacek Zaucha, Joanna Przedrzymirska, Timothy Roberts, Stephen J. Sangiuliano, Marta Vergílio (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
203 Downloads (Pure)


Promoting co-existence and synergies amongst maritime uses is a key issue in maritime spatial management. Maritime economies are developing globally, leading to competition for marine resources and increasing environmental pressures. Multi-use (MU) is the joint use of marine resources in close geographic proximity. Focusing on the Eastern Atlantic sea basin, this article provides an overview of the MU context, existing and potential MUs, and the main drivers and barriers thereof. Based on desk research, literature review and stakeholder engagement, this study highlights differences between countries, regarding the implementation and advancement of sea strategies, and sector-specific and other Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)-related policies. The legal, administrative and operational processes required to realise MUs are highly diverse and are related to the maturity of national maritime policies including MSP. A total of 25 MUs were identified and the three most relevant (Fisheries & Tourism & Environmental protection; Underwater cultural heritage & Tourism & Environmental protection, and; Offshore wind & Aquaculture) were analysed in-depth. The general conclusion refers to the need for multi-dimensional and multi-level policy actions overcoming technology constraints, and improving regulatory and policy frameworks. European strategies and actions might assist these efforts, however, the identified gaps are resolvable mainly at the national level within its specific context and through the engagement of innovative stakeholders. Recommendations for promoting MUs are presented. In summary, MUs are recognised as joint ventures, enabling synergy of interests and minimising conflicts. Findings suggest that early stakeholder engagement in the process of planning and implementing MU is necessary to achieve synergies, while respecting national planning cultures and existing MU experience leads to conflict solving solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Early online date4 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • Added values
  • Barriers
  • Drivers
  • Eastern Atlantic
  • Impacts
  • Maritime spatial planning
  • Multi-use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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