Journal : Ocean and Coastal Management , vol. 225 , p. 1–12–11 , 2022
Publisher : Elsevier
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0964-5691
Electronic : 1873-524X
Publication type : Academic article
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Strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) are used in coastal zone planning in Norway to assess how changed area-use can impact a variety of uses and interests and make recommendations for trade-off decisions between them. The transparency and consistency of the SEAs are important for their throughput legitimacy. This paper analyses how the set up and practices of SEA processes affect their transparency and consistency, how they can be improved, and what trade-offs there may be between the two. This is based on cases studies of SEAs in two intermunicipal planning processes involving 143 proposed aquaculture areas in 18 municipalities in Northern Norway. Marine aquaculture in the form of salmon farming has grown into a major industry on the Norwegian coast, and there are ambitions for further growth. Salmon farming is a major driver for coastal zone planning in Norway as many municipalities hope it will provide jobs and income and fish farms must be placed in accordance with municipal coastal zone plans. The paper specifically analyses how proposed aquaculture areas were handled in the SEAs, including their knowledge base, assessment methods used and actual trade-offs, and how this impact transparency and consistency. Consistency is considered both across geographies and SEA processes and through the individual SEA processes.