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Addressing the pollution control potential of marine spatial planning for shipping activity

Marine Policy, Volume 132


Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) was designed to replace the contemporary fragmented system of sectoral decision making in order to reduce the existing over regulations with a coordinated and coherent spatial allocation system for marine users. MSP was also adopted as a tool for protecting the marine environment and support ecosystem based sustainable sea use management. One of the activities MSP is aiming to address is shipping, to date which is largely managed through regional sectoral approaches and regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). However, in the field of marine environmental protection, IMO welcomes regional initiatives and even supports them through its Special Areas, Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) and the Port State Control provisions. This research therefore aims to open up new perspectives to the potential function of MSP at the crossroads of environmental protection and maritime transport by analyzing the synergies of MSP with the PSSA regime. Finally, this study concludes that, by introducing spatially explicit regulations, MSP may offer opportunities to enhance regional efforts on reducing pollution from shipping activity within the global legal framework.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Key words:

Main Outputs / Results:

  • Critical review of maritime governance on environmental performance of shipping.
  • Relevance and advantages of MSP as an alternative pollution control mechanism.
  • Feasibility of stringent regional anti-pollution shipping regulatory initiatives by MSP.

Contact person:

Nazmus Sakib (nsakib[dot]ms[at]bsmrmu[dot]edu[dot]bd)



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