MSPRN E-Newsletter 01/2023

Welcome to the third MSPRN E-Newsletter!

January 2023

  MSPRN E-Newsletter 01/2023 


The Marine Spatial Planning Research Network is a diverse group of scientists, policy-makers and practitioners engaged in the constructive development of MSP through critical thinking, teaching, research, consultancy and implementation. We bring together academic expertise from across the social and natural sciences, such as marine ecology, terrestrial planning, geography, and political science, working alongside practitioners, consultancies and policy-makers. We are an informal network open to new participants who share our overall aims and encourage early-career researchers to join us. For more information please visit our website.

1. New MSP projects

  • MSP4BIO project: Towards a better integration of MSP and marine conservation processes in Europe - Horizon Europe MSP4BIO project aims to develop an integrated and modular Ecological-Socio-Economic (ESE) management framework for the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems. The resulting solutions will fill gaps on marine biodiversity and better the integration between MSP and MPA management. The framework will take into account the criteria and objectives of relevant EU policies and contribute to the EU Biodiversity Strategy (EUBS) 2030 and the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework. Six test sites in five European Sea Basins have been selected to conduct the analysis and to showcase and operationalise the ESE management framework, reflecting the processes that are taking place at different geographical scales, and focus on different socio-economic and environmental challenges. Communities of Practice (CoP) are established in each of the test sites for the effective interaction with planners, regulators, and researchers relevant for MSP and MPAs. The 3-year project started on 1 August 2022. More information:
  • BLUE4ALL project: Blueprint demonstrations for co-created effective, efficient and resilient networks of MPAs - Blue4All project started on 1st of January 2023. This 4-year project will co-create robust and replicable social, governance, ecological and environmental tools to meet conservation and/or restoration objectives, generalizing a Blueprint Platform for the co-creation of effective, efficient and resilient networks of MPAs. The project was kicked-off 25-27 January 2023 in Brussels! More information can be found on Twitter: (The website is under construction)
  • MSP-SpaCeParti will make a significant contribution to the sustainability-oriented fisheries in the Western Baltic Sea - The SpaCeParti project, within the research mission “Protection and Sustainable Use of Marine Areas” of the German Marine Research Alliance (Deutsche Allianz Meeresforschung, DAM), aims to transform the Western Baltic Sea towards a sustainability-oriented future. Encompassing effective biodiversity protection, tourism and wind power generation, the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) focusses on the role of MSP in the nexus with fisheries. How can MSP assist in steering and designing ecosystem-based coastal fishing activities? The research outcomes shall provide practice-oriented management recommendations in this traditional maritime sector. For more information:, . Contact for further information or engagement:
    Project Manager: Prof. Dr. jur. Gerold Janssen, phone: +49 (0)351 4679 207, email:
    Research Associate: Josefine B. Gottschalk, M.Sc., phone: +49 (0)351 4679 292, email:

2. Upcoming and recent MSP events


  • We are pleased to announce that the opening conference of the REGINA-MSP project will be held on the 1st of March in Brest. This project “Regions to boost National Maritime Spatial Planning” (REGINA-MSP) aims at improving the participation of Regions as well as local authorities and stakeholders in the development and implementation of national maritime spatial planning. This public conference will be a great opportunity to share the objectives of the project and discuss its application among the diversity of local situations and ongoing initiatives seeking to improve MSP and its contribution to European policy goals. A detailed program will be available soon. You can already register to the event here: a hybrid format will be offered (online and in person).
  • SES Global Conversations Webinar, 23rd March 2023: Social-Ecological Systems at the Land-Sea Interface, with Cormac Walsh & Louis Cellier, hosted by Leuphana University Lüneburg, email for further information.
  • MSPRN Webinar: MSP Futures: Beyond Single-Use Zoning? 12th April 2023
    What is the future of MSP? Will marine plans continue to rely on zoning as a primary means for coordinating the spatial distribution of human activities at sea? Will marine protected areas continue to work with fixed and static boundaries? Multiple-use and co-location of increasingly viewed as core principles for the efficient use of marine space. The long-term vision of the 2019 Belgian marine spatial plan goes one step further, stating that “in the future, the principle of multiple-use of space will be the norm for all use of space within the Belgian North Sea”. At the same time, there are indications that dynamic management tools, utilising near real-time data may be most suited to the conservation of highly mobile species, and come to replace conventional protected areas in future. These questions and trends are of practical relevance, concerning as they do key aspects of MSP policy and practice. They are also of academic relevance. From a critical social science perspective, we can ask what a shift away from static, single-use zoning might mean for how we understand MSP. Do such developments represent a logical response to the dynamic, open character of sea space or do they risk a dilution of core planning principles? With this webinar, we hope to initiate an informed discussion, reflecting on the issues addressed above and reflecting on current MSP practice. We hope to include 2-3 short presentations within a 90-minute webinar. Should you wish to contribute a paper/presentation, please send your abstract (max 250 words) to by Feb 28th.
  • MARE: People and the Sea: Blue Fear, 26th to 30th June, Amsterdam (and online). Note: deadline for calls for papers has been extended to February 15th,

3. Calls for Papers

  • The special issue “Towards a Sustainable Blue Economy: Perspectives on Opportunities and Challenges” of the open access Journal MDPI Sustainability (IF: 3.889) is now open for submissions until the 18 January 2024, while the possibility of publishing up to ten waiver papers is currently offered by the Editorial Office.One of the topics that this special issue will consider is examining the role of Marine Spatial Planning as an enabling framework for Sustainable Blue Economy and Blue Growth, especially if this is demonstrated by assessments based on real world examples. For more details on other topics addressed by this special issue and further manuscript submission information, please check the dedicated page of this special issue in the MDPI website.

4. New MSP publications (from MSPRN members)

5. Training, Capacity Building, Policy Outreach

  • Guidelines for practitioners on cetacean-friendly MSP are in the process of development under the auspices of the ASCOBANS Secretariat. More information here:
  • New online lecture series on society-environment relations at the Wadden Sea:

6. Successfully completed PhD and Master theses

7. MSP Jobs

Nordregio in Stockholm is hiring: Senior Research Fellow or a Research Fellow with experience in marine spatial planning and sustainable blue economy

  • Are MSP, ICZM, OG and SBE well-known acronyms that make your eyes glitter and ideas sparkle...?
  • Are you a researcher with practical experience or a practitioner with a research background in these areas?
  • Do you enjoy transdisciplinary collaborative learning and have relevant experience?
  • Do you want to work in an international Nordic environment in the historical heart of Stockholm?
  • If your answer is YES to all 4 questions you might be the right person to apply for the following job

Nordregio seeks to expand its capacity by employing a Senior Research Fellow or Research Fellow with expertise and interest in marine and coastal planning and development of a sustainable blue economy. Based on your research interests, there will also be an opportunity to pursue other topics in our projects, e.g. related to governance of the green transition, spatial governance and regional policy. We are looking for someone with a strong analytical mindset and relevant research skills and with experience in research and development in marine spatial planning within national and transboundary settings – preferably within the Nordic and Baltic Sea Regions. You also have interest in cross-sector integration and collaboration in marine and coastal planning. View the full ad here:

Submit your application here:

Deadline for applications: 28. February 2023

8. RIP Robert Makgill

Robert Makgill (leading practising lawyer and researcher on coastal and marine planning law, New Zealand) died (suicide) in December. He also made a significant international contribution, as counsel in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea's (ITLOS) advisory opinion proceedings on deep sea mining in 2010, and assisted with advising a party to the ITLOS advisory opinion proceedings on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in 2015. He chaired the International Seabed Authority's legal working group on Environmental Management of Deep Sea Mining in 2011, and facilitated the working group on Ecosystem-Based Management and Deep Sea Mining in 2016. He worked on the development of MSP during a research scholarship with the Maritime Institute in 2005 and was part of the U. Ghent Maritime Institute where he completed his PhD in 2019. A surfer he was particularly involved in establishing protection for surf breaks in NZs marine planning system. A list of most of his completed publications can be found here

It’s a very relevant collection for MSP folk. In addition, he recently published Macpherson, E., Banwell, J., Makgill, R., and A. Paul 2021 “Trans-Tasman Resources v. Taranaki Whanganui Conservation Board [2021] NZSC 127: A new “High-Water Mark” for Seabed Mining” NZJ Environmental Law 25: 277-291 and has two original chapters completed in the forthcoming book (Edited by Virginie Tassin Campanella) Seabed Mining & the Law of the Sea. At the time of his passing, he was on the legal advisory board for the NZ Government funded Sustainable Seas research project on implementing ecosystem-based management through policy and legislation and was a Research Fellow of Lincoln University’s Land Environment and People Research Centre (text by Hamish Rennie).

9. MSPRN Member Profiles

You may remember that last year, we asked everyone to create or review their profile on our list of participants

Many of you did this, for which, many thanks. If you did not, it is not too late. Please see the attached user guide to help you do this, which includes help on logging in to the website. Please note that we will be removing the names of people who have not created a profile on the assumption that they are no longer active in the network (unless they indicate otherwise). We will do this at the end of April 2023. This will not stop anyone from re-joining at a later stage if they wish.

Note: the items in this newsletter are based on the information provided by members of the MSPRN network. As such, it will it is inevitably selective and partial in its coverage.

Newsletter prepared by Cormac Walsh on behalf of the MSPRN Steering Group, 06.02.2022. The newsletters are archived on the homepage of the MSPRN website (top right).