The incorporation of stakeholders into maritime spatial planning processes is widely acknowledged as essential for successful planning outcomes. Small-scale fisheries (SSF; fishing vessels up to 12 m in length) constitute the majority of the Polish fishing fleet. To integrate the spatial needs of the sector with the Maritime Spatial Plan during 2016–17, extensive research was conducted in the form of individual interviews using paper maps to determine significant fishing grounds and their relative importance. In total, 64% (n = 267) of small-scale fishermen were examined, which allowed the creation of a map depicting the spatial extent and relative importance index of fishery grounds. The map of the results showed that the highest values were obtained in the coastal zone of the Gulf of Gdańsk, where numerous small fishing bases are located. Along the central coast, the most important fishing grounds are adjacent to the largest fishing bases. The adopted spatial resolution facilitated assessing the scale of current and potential conflicts regarding the use of marine space by SSF and other sea users. The results of the survey concerning threats to the functioning of fisheries indicate that fishermen are primarily concerned about the impact of environmental protection. The participatory mapping process based on the ethical principles of social sciences has not only resulted in a new geo-information layer included into Polish MSP but also made it possible to learn about fishermen's concerns about current and potential spatial conflicts.
QUESTIONS THIS PRACTICE MAY HELP ANSWER:
- What is the spatial extent of fishery grounds in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea?
- What are the fishermen's concerns about current and potential spatial conflicts?
The study was conducted by the research team of the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute (Poland).
ASPECTS / OBJECTIVES:
The study aims to integrate the spatial needs of the small-scale fisheries sector with the Polish Maritime Spatial Plan.
To determine significant fishing grounds and their relative importance, an extensive research was conducted in the form of individual interviews using paper maps.
MAIN OUTPUTS / RESULTS:
The study resulted in a new geo-information layer included in the Polish MSP and enabled fishermen's concerns about current and potential spatial conflicts to be understood.
The methodology used in this research is applicable to similar studies in other marine regions.
National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kollataja 1, 81-332, Gdynia, Poland.
Iwona Psuty: email@example.com
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