Selection of Pilot Areas

The first work package aimed to select appropriate cross-border areas within the project region, and to make an initial assessment of these areas, as a basis for the more detailed planning activity to be carried out later in the project. This activity is based upon the overall premise of TPEA, which is to develop an approach to cross-border MSP in the European Atlantic region as a whole, as demonstrated in two contexts: one in the northern part of the region, between Ireland and the UK, and the other in the southern part, between Portugal and Spain.  This range of possibilities has been determined by the makeup of the project consortium, involving partners from these four Atlantic Member States. The choice of pilot areas was limited to the cross-border areas in the two contexts described above.  These are as follows:

1.     Northern context: areas extending outwards from the terrestrial borders between Ireland and UK, described broadly as:

a.    East: reaching eastwards into the Irish Sea

b.    North: reaching northwards into the North Channel

Irish Sea- East Coast

Irish Sea- East Coast

2.     Southern context: areas extending outwards from the terrestrial borders between Portugal and Spain, described broadly as:

a.    Guadiana: reaching southwards from the Algarve into the Gulf of Cadiz;

b.    Minho: reaching westwards from the River Minho into the northeast Atlantic.

Southern context pilot map

These four areas all had the potential to benefit from cross-border MSP.  They are under pressures of different kinds, have valuable environmental assets, and hold possibilities for new types of maritime activity.  They are all of interest to national authorities.  However, the purpose of TPEA is not to carry out comprehensive cross-border MSP for the project region, but rather to trial cross-border MSP in distinct contexts within the region. The project’s resources will therefore be best utilised by concentrating on exemplar areas representing the broad contexts described above.  It was therefore decided to select one area for the northern context, and one for the southern context.

More information on the selection criteria for these Pilot Areas can be found at: TPEA Initial Assessment Report