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OâMahony, C., Gault, J., Cummins, V., Köpke, K. and OâSuilleabhain, D.: Assessment of recreation activity and its application to integrated management and spatial planning for Cork Harbour, Ireland.. Marine Policy, 33(6): 930-937, 2009.


The coastal environment is commonly the location for multiple human activities, of which recreation is just one. The coastal and marine sector has experienced nascent growth and this trend is likely to continue into the foreseeable future; the projected growth of the sector will impact coastal and marine resources, whilst also placing demands on those tasked with planning and managing the coastal environment. In Ireland, this presents particular challenges for coastal local authorities, as the principal planning consent body. In order to address these emerging challenges an innovative working partnership was developed between the research community and local authority to examine marine recreation in Cork Harbour, situated on the southern coast of Ireland. A programme of work was devised to identify data gaps in terms of: baseline information; user attitudes and perceptions towards existing management framework and facilities for recreation; interactions between different user groups; and, spatial distribution of recreational activities. The results of the assessment provided an improved understanding of the current coastal recreational situation, have value as input to spatial planning and contribute to the development of an integrated management plan for Cork Harbour.


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