About 50 agents of the Canary Islands maritime sector are meeting at the ULPGC, to make progress in the Marine Spatial Planning of the Canary Islands

More than fifty agents representing the different sectors of the archipelago's maritime sector met this morning at the Aula de Piedra of the Institutional Headquarters of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) to participate in the 2nd workshop on Marine Spatial Planning of the Canary Islands, a meeting organised within the framework of the European project MarSP of the University Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems (ECOAQUA).

The opening session of this workshop was attended by David Juan Greiner Sánchez, Director of Scientific Organisation and Promotion of Research at the ULPGC, and Professor Ricardo Haroun, representing IU-ECOAQUA.

The planning of the Archipelago's Marine Area, which covers a territory of more than 455,000 km², will determine the distribution, both spatially and temporally, of activities such as aquaculture, fishing, scientific research, facilities and infrastructures for prospecting, exploitation and extraction of raw materials and energy resources, maritime transport routes and their traffic flows, military training areas, nature conservation areas and protected species or areas, areas with submarine cables and pipes, tourism or underwater cultural heritage.

That is why today’s session was attended by representatives of the various island councils, and the Ministry of Territorial Policy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Education, Universities and Sustainability of the Government of the Canary Islands, also the Port Authority of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as the Maritime Cluster of the Canary Islands, of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, of the Canary Islands Technological Institute, of environmental protection associations such as WWF España or El Chorlitejo, of different fishermen's associations and private companies related to the marine sector, and, finally, of representatives of the scientific community related to the University of La Laguna, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and the University of Cadiz, among others.

The MarSP (Macaronesian Marine Spatial Planning) project, whose main results will be known by the end of 2019, is financed by the European Union's EASME agency, and its general objective is to support the Marine Spatial Planning (OEM) processes in the three outermost regions present in the Macaronesia: the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, in line with the European Directive on Marine Spatial Planning (EU Directive 2014/89).

The OEM responds to a clear objective, since in recent decades there has been a significant increase in demand and competition for the use of maritime space with the participation of multiple actors linked to various economic activities, something that in addition to synergies, can generate conflicts over the use of marine space. Activities and sectors such as marine conservation, renewable and non-renewable energies, aquaculture, fishing, or tourism and leisure, among others, coexist in the sea, but this planning will guarantee the provision of environmental services and the preservation of marine biodiversity.