The Multi-Use in European Seas (MUSES) project is a two year Horizon 2020 funded project exploring the opportunities for Multi-Use in European Seas across five sea basins:
- Baltic Sea
- North Sea
- Mediterranean Sea
- Black Sea
- Eastern Atlantic
There are 10 project partners from across Europe; Scotland, Poland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Azores, Greece and Baltic Sea Region, providing a wide geographical coverage for the project. The partners are a mix of consultancies, academia and government bodies that provide a broad depth of knowledge/expertise, with strong links to stakeholder groups. The Project is co-ordinated by Marine Scotland.
The development of Multi-Use of ocean space is demand driven by the needs of users, and underpinned by legislative, environmental and socio-economic perspectives.
In the realm of marine resource utilisation, Multi‐Use should be understood as the joint use of resources in close geographic proximity. This can involve either a single user or multiple users. It is an umbrella term that covers a multitude of use combinations in the marine realm and represents a radical change from the concept of exclusive resource rights to the inclusive sharing of resources by one or more users.
The objectives of such a multi-use approach, and for the MUSES Project to research are:
- To ensure that activities/uses in the same and/or adjacent marine areas are compatible;
- To minimize the necessary infrastructures by offering multiple uses of installations, thus decreasing costs and avoiding dispersion of constructions that might affect the environment;
- To protect the environment and make best possible management of the marine resources;
- To promote spatial efficiency by organizing combined uses into “hubs” and keeping as much space as possible free for future purposes;
- To make best possible use of new technologies and innovations that could serve the previously mentioned objectives and contribute in cost, space and energy saving and in environment protection;
- To promote mutual understanding and cooperation, thus avoiding possible antagonisms, negative reactions and delays of investments and operation.
The main outcomes to address these issues will be delivered in Work packages (WP) 2, 3 and 4.
Three main work packages
- Sea Basin Overview of Multi-Uses (WP2): Regional overviews of multi-use which take into account EU sea basins (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Eastern Atlantic) will be based on an analytical framework to facilitate adoption of a common approach across the sea basins. The progress in implementation of the concept of Multi-Uses in European Sea Basins will be assessed and key obstacles and drivers identified.
- Case Studies (WP3): MUSES will assess potential synergies for multi-use as well as the challenges encountered through a series of case studies with different thematic, geographic and focus area dimensions, and engage local stakeholders to identify barriers, opportunities, limitations and needs.
- Action Plan (WP4): MUSES will develop an action plan to ascertain the real opportunities for multi-use in European Seas, including the scope for innovation and Blue Growth potential. The action plan will be developed actively with stakeholders. It will show the potentiality of ocean space, highlight where benefits can be realized, draw attention to barriers that can be overcome and provide recommendations on what actions are needed in order to enable this.
The action plan will be one of the main deliverables of the MUSES project. Substantial effort will therefore be made to produce a well-designed, easy-to-read, comprehensive printed document, which shall be promoted extensively beyond the lifetime of the project itself.