What does the future hold for the Celtic Seas?

The Celtic Seas are home to a wide range of species, including whales, dolphins and spectacular cold-water corals.



They provide jobs for

400000 people


And make an annual contribution to the economy of around

£ 15 bn

THREE SCENARIOS

We looked at what could happen in the Celtic Seas over the next 20 years under three different scenarios…

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Click a button below to explore the scenarios

1

Business as usual

2

Nature at work

3

Local stewardship

The marine economy develops as expected.
There are no major changes in attitudes, priorities, technology or economics.
Economic growth remains the priority, with society and industry reluctant
to adopt environmental policies that radically change the status quo.

HERE'S WHAT WE FOUND…



Under every scenario the Celtic Seas are getting busier and over the next 20 years there’ll be more competition for space



There are winners and losers in every scenario, for the environment, the economy and our society




There are opportunities for people to work more closely together, across nations and sectors, both to avoid conflict and to make the most of our marine environment

Ireland France Northern Ireland Scotland Wales England


In hotspots around South Wales, the Irish Sea and the west coast of Scotland a number of sectors will be operating in the same space. The decisions we make in these places will have knock-on effects throughout the Celtic Seas



Gaps in existing data and information make it hard for decision makers to build a full picture of what’s happening in our seas

DELVE DEEPER

Sectors have many different kinds of relationships. Sometimes they are competing for the same space but they are also linked to one-another in less obvious ways. Because of this, the decisions we make about one sector almost always have consequences for others. This can create conflicts, but there are also many cases where growth in one sector can help others to flourish.
The report identifies opportunities for sectors to work more closely together to realise these mutual benefits. Where sectors are in direct competition, good planning, design and early engagement can help to minimise conflict.

These scenarios are just three of many possibilities, but they show how different factors could affect the shape of our marine economy in 20 years’ time.
The well-established ports, shipping and tourism sectors account for the majority of the marine economy under all scenarios. Fishing sees only marginal growth, while the oil and gas sectors are expected to make a smaller contribution as time goes by. The emerging renewable energy sector has enormous potential, but varies significantly between the three scenarios as different priorities dominate.

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Click a button below to explore the scenarios

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Business as usual

2

Nature at work

3

Local stewardship

These scenarios give an idea of how different factors will affect employment over the next couple of decades. The Celtic Seas maritime economy directly employs around 400,000 people.
The next 20 years could see the addition of between 95,000 and 135,000 jobs. When indirect employment through supply chains is taken into account, this figure could be doubled. In every scenario, the biggest employers are ports & shipping and recreation & tourism.

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Click a button below to explore the scenarios

1

Business as usual

2

Nature at work

3

Local stewardship

This graphic shows how the EU’s 11 measures of marine environmental health could fare under our three scenarios. It doesn’t take into account the development of new technologies to minimise industries’ environmental impact, so it’s possible that some of this could be offset by innovation.

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Click a button below to explore the scenarios

1

Business as usual

2

Nature at work

3

Local stewardship