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Map of the week – MSP: Aquaculture and wind farms

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Map of the week – MSP: Aquaculture and wind farms

The European seas are a buzzing hub of human activities – think of cargo and passenger transport, tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, oil and gas exploration as well as renewable energy production in wind farms. In the future, this blue economy will become even more important as it provides renewable energy solutions to decarbonize the European economy and provide new, sustainable food sources from aquaculture. However, with this Blue Growth comes the increased competition for space and resources at sea which may cause conflicts between sectors and may threaten the marine ecosystems and the services they provide to our society.

Maritime spatial planning (MSP) is key in order to manage the space available for different activities at sea in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. MSP works across borders and sectors in order to reduce competition for space, encourage investments in the Blue Economy, increase cross-border cooperation and protect the marine environment. Recognizing this potential, the EU has launched an assistance mechanism – the European MSP Platform – providing information on existing projects, processes and best practices. Furthermore, the EU is funding several cross-border MSP projects which you can visualise in the European Atlas of the Seas. If you want to learn more about MSP and how it will play a vital role in the European Green Deal, you can check out the Euronews OCEAN episode airing today. To illustrate the growth of new blue economy activities and the need for MSP, the map of the week is featuring the locations of aquaculture farms of shell and finfish, as well as the location of wind energy farms.

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The data in this map were provided by EMODnet Human Activities