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Analysis of Conflict Scores


This tool allows a (semi-)quantitative conflict analysis. It uses spread sheet programs and is based on expert judgement rather than data.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How does the conflict score change with management options?
  • Did a changed management result in a change of conflicts?

Implementation Context

This tool has been presented and tested in the context of the COEXIST project, which ran from 2010 to 2013. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the conflicts and synergies between fisheries, aquaculture and other activities in the coastal zone in six COEXIST case study areas.

The Analysis of conflict score tool is evaluated in the “Guidance of Better Integration of Aquaculture, Fisheries, and other Activities in the Coastal Zone” and is presented in the Deliverable “Direct Spatial Conflict score” of the COEXIST project. 

Aspects / Objectives

The tool developed in COEXIST is the “direct spatial conflict score”, where the exact spatial and temporal distribution pattern of the identified activities becomes relevant later in a conflict analyses process, i.e. the exact spatial representation of the respective interaction matrix (mapping of interactions). 


COEXIST applied an approach using a mixture of expert judgment and numerical scoring to make the classification of potential interactions more repeatable and transparent than an expert judgment approach alone.

The calculation of conflict scores is organised in three steps:

1. Definition of activities of interest

2. Setting spatial and temporal attributes of each activity

3. Applying rules to calculate the conflcit score of each air of activity

This tool has been tested and implemented in two of the six case studies of the COEXIST project (Algarve Coast and North Sea Coast).

Main Outputs / Results

The analyses of Conflict Scores is a tool that allows a [semi-]quantitative conflict analysis and can answer some questions such as how does the conflict score change with management options or did a changed management result in a change of conflicts. It uses widely available spread sheet program and is based on expert judgement rather than elaborated data. The strength of this approach is that it is a transparent and reproducible approach to analyse expert knowledge. However, the only use of expert knowledge, may be also seen as weakness. Another characteristic of this approach or tool is that extra costs for users and the level of software skills needed are quite low.

This fast and simple approach may be useful for industry, NGOs and governmental agencies.  


This document presents a spatial management tool and this introduction to and evaluation of the “Analysis of Conflict Scores” tool is therefore highly transferable. Thanks to this document, each stakeholder is able to judge if this tool could be relevant in his specific case. 

Contact Person

Torsten Schulze

Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries (Torsten[dot]Schulze[at]ti[dot]bund[dot]de; )

Responsible Entity

Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries

Costs / Funding Source

Costs: unknown

Funding Source: European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013)