CIGPT - Centro de Informação Geográfica e Planeamento Territorial Universidade dos Açores Rua da Mãe de Deus 13A 9501-801 Ponta Delgada Portugal Scientific Editors Helena Calado Artur Gil Scientific Committee Agustín Lobo Aldino Campos Ana Cristina Costa Artur Gil Christopher Damon David Johnson Fátima Alves Fátima Navas Helena Calado Nicole Schaefer Jorge Gonçalves Peter August Rui PedroJulião Graphic Design DDDD. Lda
“The problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be considered as a whole” UNCLOS,1982 The introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) from 1982 summarizes in a sentence, most of the challenges that Planners face when working on themaritime space. The multidimensional character, the interrelations with fuzzy borders, and mostly, the abysm of the unknown, transform the marine realm with a fantastic opportunity to be creative in exploring new methods for the planning field. The sea has always been part of our imaginary references and a structural part of our societies: first it was a barrier that no one dare to cross, but also afood and salt supplier; then it challenged men to establish latitude, and mostly longitude, in order to navigate and reduce distances for trading; it kept the world apart until the beginning of the nautical discoveries, but gave us romances, poems, drawings and the most peculiar nautical charts… and yet, we still know very little about ocean space. The marine technologies are developing faster, theremote observation systems are more reliable, and yet we are not aware of the real ocean carrying capacity or the ecosystem limits to mitigate negative impacts of land based human activities. Coastal zones have already been understood as fragile and the need for specific strategies and planning tools defined. Now, it is time to move to maritime space: navigation, fisheries, recreation, oil andgas exploitation, marine protected areas, wind and wave energy systems, archaeological sites, etc, the sea supports a growing number of uses and activities. Similar to land based
activities these uses can, sometimes, coexist and be developed in different time schedules and levels (surface, water column…) and in some cases multiple uses are beneficial or complementary and others are exclusive.However, the magnitude and extent of their impacts is very different from those on land. The notion of competing (and even conflicting) spatial consuming marine uses and activities lead to the development of management and planning tools adapted to maritime space. The definition presented on the “MSP Good Practice” (UNESCO-IOC, 2008) of Marine Spatial Management is: “a public process of analyzing andallocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives that usually have been specified through a political process. Characteristics of marine spatial planning include ecosystem-based, areabased, integrated, adaptive, strategic and participatory.” Marine Spatial Management can be considered as a more complexprocess then land use planning, but it can profit from its technologies and methods. On a first approach, its fundamental to understand the international regulations as those provided by UNCLOS, and the regional seas based organisation, conventions and treaties. Also the European Union has developed several sectored policies concerning marine resources. Therefore law, rules and regulations, nationaland international, are the first base for Ocean zoning. The following step will require a strong scientific approach, as it must rely on scientific quality data concerning resources and physical conditions of marine areas. The characterization
of the existing activities must not be considered the only basis for planning. The resources, their value (economical and non economical) and also...