Project info

Marine spatial planning and cumulative impacts of blue growth on seabirds

Project period: 2021-2025

MARCIS is a collaborative research project where research institutes, together with industry and management authorities, will contribute to ecosystem-based management of marine spatial use and provide a decision-support tool for balancing interests and conflicts in planning processes.

Funding: The Research Council of Norway

Project leader: Tone Kristin Reiertsen (NINA)

Project partners:

Norwegian institute for nature research (NINA)

Environmental Research Institute – University of the Highlands and Islands (ERI-UHI)


The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Total Energies

Aker Offshore Wind

RWE renewables Sweden

Norwegian Offshore Wind

Norwegian Polar Institute


BirdLife Norway

Norwegian Fishermen's Association

Norwegian Oil and Gas Association


Directorate of Fisheries 

Rogaland County Municipality

Norwegian Coastal Administration

Norwegian Environment Agency

Institute of Marine Research

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)



Read our new stakeholder perspectives on the MARCIS project

The MARCIS project collaborates with a range of different partners and stakeholders from industrial, regulatory and scientific sectors, as well as interest groups and non-governmental organisations. Our user-cases showcase how MARCIS will impact and inform their work. 

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Tools for assessing the impact of marine industries on seabirds

Growth of coastal and marine industries, such as energy development, aquaculture, fishery and shipping, has led to increasing pressure on marine biodiversity. Consequently, there is an urgent demand for novel management tools to ensure sustainable industrial development in the marine environment (“blue growth”). 

Seabirds play an important role in marine ecosystems and are among the most threatened birds in the world, partly due to anthropogenic activities. Norway is home to a significant proportion of the world’s seabird populations and therefore has an international responsibility to protect them.

The goal of MARCIS is to develop a decision support tool for assessing the cumulative impact of human marine industries on seabirds and migrating land birds in marine ecosystems. 

To achieve this goal, we will: 

1. Compile detailed maps of marine industries and the distribution of seabird populations.
2. Assess the consequences of offshore wind power plants on seabirds and migratory land birds.
3. Evaluate individual seabird sensitivity to marine activities.
4. Quantify effects of anthropogenic marine industries on seabird populations.
5. Develop the decision support tool (web app) allowing users to quantify, and immediately illustrate, the cumulative impact of marine industries on seabirds.
6. Demonstrate different scenarios of blue growth co-developed with industry, management and NGOs in order to improve marine spatial planning and risk assessment. The app will thus contribute to sustainable development in the marine environment. 

MARCIS Newsletter n.1 – April 2022
22. April 2022

Read the first MARCIS Newsletter for project progress and highlights.

Forskning og næringsaktører går sammen for å sikre bærekraftig forvaltning av norske havområder
3. March 2022

Vi legger beslag på stadig større havareal. Behovet for mer energi, mat og økt transport er de tre viktigste årsakene. Et nytt forskningsprosjekt, ledet fra Tromsø, skal hjelpe oss å sikre bærekraftig forvaltning av norske havområder.


Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

NINA is an independent foundation for nature research and research on the interaction between human society, natural resources and biodiversity.
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