Prof. Mel Austen and Dr Darren Clark from Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Prof. Martin Attrill from the University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute will be working with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), and its broader stakeholder group, to identify and map the science needs of the South West Marine Plans.
The MMO is currently preparing Marine Plans for inshore and offshore areas around England. These Plans indicate what activities should be prioritised in a specific area, providing a context in which businesses can confidently plan their activity for the future. To date, the potential for natural capital approaches has not featured strongly in this process. This project will work directly with the MMO to aid the preparation of these plans and provide access to the science that will underpin them.
This project will work with the MMO to embed the best environmental science into the South West Marine Plan. A strong evidence base will give more confidence to business seeking to invest in marine related development in the South West, by de-risking business decisions. The impact of this project will be to enhance the process of marine planning in general, and in particular to strengthen the South West Marine Plan by providing a strong scientific basis that in turn increases confidence that the plan will deliver sustainable solutions. In the long‐term, a strong marine plan will provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the region.
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Martin is a Marine Ecologist interested in the links between marine biodiversity, ecosystem services and human activity. Within SWEEP, he coordinates the University of Plymouth input, as well as being actively involved in projects associated with Marine Ecosystem Services, particularly Marine Protected Areas.
Darren is a Microbial Ecologist with interests in pelagic biogeochemistry and phytoplankton physiology. He is especially interested in pelagic nutrient cycling and the role that marine microbes play in the various associated processes.
Darren has been involved with programmes such as UK-SOLAS and AMT and the Ocean Acidification programmes MedSea and UKOA, and is now contributing to a number of the SWEEP marine projects.