UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Economics in Marine Spatial Planning: A Review of Issues in British Columbia and Similar Jurisdictions Issifu, Ibrahim; Dahmouni, Ilyass; García-Lorenzo, Iria; Sumaila, Ussif Rashid


Recently, there has been a rapid increase in the use of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) worldwide, partly due to the continued loss of marine biodiversity and habitat. The sustainability of marine resources is threatened in all regions of the world by major events such as climate change, marine pollution, and overfishing, as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing both on the high seas and in country waters. Here, we present a comprehensive review and analysis of how economic information has been applied and used to inform decisions about MSP in British Columbia (BC), Canada, and other similar jurisdictions around the world. This focus for the paper was selected because important gaps remain in the literature in terms of incorporating economic questions into MSP. We first present different definitions of MSP, and then we extract useful lessons from MSP regimes with well-tested decision support tools (DSTs) and use this to guide MSP implementation in BC. Finally, we present and discuss case studies from Australia, South Africa, and Belgium. Our review suggests that applying economic information to support the design and implementation of MSPs would lead to better decisions. This in turn would foster livelihoods, attract finance, increase buy-in, and advance United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, thereby achieving Infinity Fish, i.e., ensuring that ocean benefits flow to humanity forever.

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CC BY 4.0