Stephen Jay (BSc, MA, PhD, MRTPI) is a Reader at the University of Liverpool in the UK, where he specialises in the implementation of maritime spatial planning (MSP). He has researched and published widely on its development, including its implementation in several European nations. Stephen has led many projects on MSP and has frequently acted as an international expert. He is also co-founder of the MSP Research Network, which brings together researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to take forward MSP research and practice. He is the Director of the Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts & Oceans, which brings together a wide range of marine scientific expertise and practice.
Ocean governance is becoming increasingly important, both for coastal states who are responsible for their national offshore waters, and regional and international organisations, who are concerned about sea basins and international waters. Ocean governance aims to ensure effective control over the world’s seas and oceans, manage their resources, and protect the marine environment. Marine spatial planning is emerging as a key approach to achieving these aims. This introduces the principles of terrestrial planning to the sea, and a growing number of coastal states are now practicing marine spatial planning. China has been one of the pioneers of this, through a system of ‘marine functional zoning’. More recently, European nations have taken a lead. There is now an opportunity for international cooperation and mutual learning, as nations develop different approaches to marine spatial planning.