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Scale, space and delimitation in marine legal governance – Perspectives from the Baltic Sea

Journal article
Authors David Langlet
Published in Marine Policy
Volume 98
Pages 278-285
ISSN 0308-597X
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Law
Pages 278-285
Language en
Keywords marine management, ecosystem based management, marine framework directive, water framework directive, Baltic Sea
Subject categories Law


Recent decades have seen an increasing emphasis on (re)structuring marine governance regulation to fit relevant natural systems in terms of scale and spatial scope, and thus also on the delimitation of spatial units. Being at the heart of ecosystem based management, this focus on the relationship between scale and space in nature and in regulatory systems necessitates an increased awareness of the use of spatial and scale-related concepts in marine governance regulation. Using the regulatory context of the Baltic Sea as the focal point, this article examines concepts central to marine governance such as ‘ecosystem’, ‘water body’ and ‘marine waters’. It investigates how changes in the physical environment are reflected in the legal concepts, but also how these concepts affect the understanding or definition of the ‘natural’ phenomena ostensibly representing the scales on which the regulatory system should be premised.

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