Researchers help implement EU policy for managing marine resources

Researchers from the School of Environmental Sciences, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) team are providing consultancy services to support the implementation of a new EU directive aimed at ensuring coordinated decisions on responsible use of marine resources are made.

In 2014 the European Parliament introduced a new directive on MSP requiring all coastal EU Member States to prepare cross-sectoral maritime spatial plans for their waters by 2021, with the aim of better managing the various activities that take place at sea. MSP plays an important role in promoting sustainable development and growth in the maritime sector, while also ensuring that maritime activities are consistent with the ecosystem-based approach to marine management.

Dr Stephen Jay is leading the involvement of the MSP team in the European MSP Platform, launched by the European Commission to draw together MSP knowledge and expertise from across Europe to make it available in a readily accessible, implementation-oriented format.

Working with s.Pro – sustainable projects, a project management and maritime policy company based in Berlin, the University’s expert team are developing a range of important resources which include contributions to an interactive online portal ( to help users find relevant experiences and knowledge to craft effective maritime spatial plans.

Angela Schultz-Zehden, Managing Director, s.Pro – sustainable projects GmbH said: “Stephen Jay and the University of Liverpool team provide in-depth expertise on MSP, especially in their role as the Atlantic Focal Point for the MSP Platform, through which they facilitate the sharing of valuable MSP experiences from the UK with other EU Member States who are at the beginning stages of their MSP processes”.

The project will aid the European Commission and coastal Member States with meeting their MSP development objectives and timescales. As well as increasing knowledge sharing and cooperation across borders, this co-ordinated approach will, ultimately, lead to improved management of the sea and ensure sustainable blue growth in the future.

You can find out more information about the importance of MSP through this short video which Dr Jay helped create:

This project has been supported by the University’s Consultancy Team and managed through the University’s online system CONSULT, through which all consultancy and facilities and equipment service related projects are recorded and approved ( To find out more, please visit:

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