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Title: Use of marine spatial planning to implement ecosystem-based management in a Maltese marine protected area
Authors: Koehler, Lydia
Keywords: Marine ecosystem management -- Malta -- Planning
Marine resources -- Malta
Marine resources -- Management
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The present study on the use of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) to implement an ecosystembased approach to management the Qawra/Dwejra marine protected area (MPA) concludes that 15 proposed management measures may be used to improve regulation of human activities in the area. For implementation of the proposed management measures, the existing legal framework on international, regional and national level has been taken into consideration. These measures derive from the evaluation of a questionnaire distributed amongst six main groups of stakeholders for the area, including government authorities, nongovernmental organizations, dive centres, bus and boat trip operators, as well as small business owners operating in the MPA. Furthermore, interviews were held to acquire a better understanding of the interests and responsibilities of the different stakeholders. The data collected presents different views on the state of the environment, conflicts in the area, and suggested management and enforcement measures. Eleven categories of conflict have been identified and spatially analysed. Major conflicts exist along the coastline north of the Azure Window to the area around Fungus rock, an area where different activities overlap. An evaluation of additional data on the distribution of marine habitats in the area was used to integrate an ecosystem-based approach to management; this indicated conflicts between human activities and ecosystem functioning, including ones resulting from anchoring of leisure boats on Posidonia oceanica meadows. Other conflicts, identified following assessment of fishing pressure on the area using data provided by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA), related to fishing that contributed to conflict between fishers and divers, given that a decline of fish fauna occurred in the area. Two zonation schemes for the MPA, one proposed in an Action Plan for the area and another put forward by the Professional Diving Schools Association of Malta, Gozo (PDSA), were compared. The establishment of no-take zones included in both proposals is considered a useful conservation measure.
Description: International Ocean Institute (IOI) in collaboration with Faculty of Laws
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLawIMPMAOG - 2014
Dissertations - IMPMAOG - 2014

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