The Porcupine Seabight (PSB), off the west coast of Ireland, is an area that has been intensely researched for decades. Notwithstanding historical research presence in the area, the importance of PSB cold-water corals only came to prominence at the beginning of this century. Indeed the Belgica Mound province was one of four areas designated by the Irish authorities as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Union’s Habitats Directive in 2006 – the first offshore SACs in the EU. In recent times, there has been an increase in interest in oil and gas exploration in the PSB. The coverage of oil and gas exploration concessions in the most recent Atlantic Margin licensing round in 2015. Given the presence of several other stakeholders in the PSB associated with fishing, cable and telecommunications, scientific research and conservation, the PSB is an ideal candidate to develop maritime spatial planning approaches within ATLAS.

Blue Growth Sectors: Biotechnology, Fisheries, Oil and Gas