Marine spatial planning in the Marlborough Sounds
Matthew, Colin Earle (Earle)
The Marlborough Sounds is an area located at the top of the South Island, and is made up of around 1400 kilometres of coastline. Within this area, there is a wide range of uses in the marine environment. The Sounds is an important national icon, and has a significant range of social, economic, ecological and environmental values attached to the many uses that occur there. The natural resources of the Marlborough Sounds have been placed under immense pressure with the increasing amount of users in the Sounds, and tensions have arisen between these users. The adverse impacts of pressure on the Sounds environment is demonstrated by the depletion of blue cod caused by over fishing, and there is now a ban in place that prevents all blue cod fishing from occurring in the inner Sounds. This study aimed to assess whether marine spatial planning, a planning approach where all of the activities that occur in an area are looked at in a holistic and integrated way, might be successfully implemented in the Sounds. This involved identifying and appraising conflicts that exist between users of the Sounds, before analysing the key themes of marine spatial planning and using these to recommend an alternative course of action for the future. A qualitative research approach was used and primary data was collected through interviewing a range of users of the Marlborough Sounds, as well as representatives of authorities who manage the activities in the area. The present research found that there are a number of conflicts between users in the Sounds as well as conflicts between users and the environment. Many of these conflicts are either associated with the blue cod fishery in the Sounds or aquaculture, and have created difficulties for the authorities who manage activities in the Sounds. Greater levels of integration between users and authorities may be a way to overcome these difficulties, and the use of marine spatial planning may assist in creating a sustainable long term vision in the Sounds.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis