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1. About this guide

Note: For the purpose of this guide, the term stakeholder is used primarily to refer to sea-users, including marine industry operators, infrastructure developers and recreational user groups.

The PISCES guide was developed collaboratively with a multi-sector, multinational group of stakeholders from the Celtic Sea project area to explore what is needed to implement the ecosystem approach in the context of the MSFD. It uses the example of the Celtic Sea to explain in practical and non-technical terms what it means, why it is relevant and what we can all do to help.

“You need to read this guide – whether you use, work, live by or enjoy the sea – or are in any way responsible for managing our activities in it.” (Statutory agency)

Who is the guide for?

This guide is aimed primarily at stakeholders operating in and around the Celtic Sea, and government decision-makers responsible for implementing the MSFD in it.

“Although focused on the Celtic Sea, this guide is eminently transferable across other sea areas around Europe, especially because it has been driven by stakeholders” (Fisheries sector)

The guide is also relevant to:

  • Implementation of other marine policies, including marine spatial planning, the EU Common Fisheries Policy and EU Habitats Directive, which are essential to meeting MSFD targets and themselves require and/or would benefit from the use of the ecosystem approach and effective stakeholder participation.
  • Other stakeholders, including those undertaking coastal and terrestrial activities and industries, environmental NGOs and scientists/academics.
  • Other locations. Issues and challenges surrounding the ecosystem approach, implementation of the MSFD and the vital role of stakeholders in the Celtic Sea are likely to be relevant to other areas.
  • All types of stakeholder participation. The PISCES process and recommendations are relevant to any process or initiative involving stakeholders in decision-making.
  • Future implementation of the MSFD. While it focuses on the initial implementation cycle of the MSFD, this guide will also apply to the MSFD’s continuing six-year review cycles. The role of stakeholders will be at least as important in the future.

“We are looking forward to the results of the PISCES project, particularly the stakeholder engagement methods, in order to explore the possibilities to replicate them in Spain” (Spanish government representative)

Why should you read this guide?

  • We must all act in order for the ecosystem approach to become a reality – this guide will help to show you how. It aims to de-mystify terminology and makes practical recommendations for stakeholders, government and NGOs. Many recommendations will also interest researchers, the public and others.
  • Uniquely, it presents the voice of a cross-sectoral group of Celtic Sea stakeholders. It sets out their views, needs and aspirations for the development and implementation of marine policy.
  • It explores what is needed to implement the ecosystem approach in the context of the MSFD, following statutory commitments and good practice. Recommendations are relevant to other marine policy areas and contexts.

Net full of Scallops

Download the PISCES Guide

Download the PISCES Guide

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