——EU marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) and marine spatial planning (MSP): Which is the more dominant and practicable contributor to maritime policy in the UK?
This paper is a comparative analysis of the contribution to UK marine governance of two recent EU initiatives: the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). MSFD imposed a duty on Member States to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in four regional seas,while MSP required Member States to replace their fragmented, sector-based system of maritime decision making with an integrated approach. This paper explains MSFD and MSP, examines their relationship, and compares their practicability, concluding that MSP is both the more dominant and the more practicable instrument, reflecting the UK's preference for sustainable development over conservationism in marine policy. A recent proposal by the European Commission to make MSP and integrated coastal management a Directive reinforces the UK position.