A marine cadastre to avoid marine space use conflict and stimulate marine renewable energy

01/25/2017 - 11:00-01/25/2017 - 12:15


Séverine Michalak


Regulatory Framework (Part B)

Francesco Munari
Séverine Michalak

Ocean energy could deliver 350 terawatt hours of clean electricity to 75 million european homes by 2050, equivalent to avoiding the emission of 276m tonnes of CO2 annually. However the development of ocean energy increases conflict uses because of private occupation of marine spaces. 

The marine cadastre can be an efficient tool to determine a better way to allocate exclusive rights to ocean energy developers. A marine cadastre is already established in the United States of America and in Canada. Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, and Israel have started to study the concept. 

In France, the concept has been recently proposed by the surveyors, but any legal study has been made until now. I will try to determine which is the hierarchy between these differents rights in the seaspace in France, and especially between public rights, and the other States rights, and private use rights of MRE operators. I will compare with other countries.

I need before that to list these rights. Indeed, a marine cadastre registers government ownship of the subsoil, seabed and water column, which is different according to countries. It registers also public rights, private uses such as concessions, and also restrictions such as marine protected areas.

A marine cadastre needs also to be dynamic. For instance, some private use rights could be exchanged between marine energy developers, or between MRE developers and fishers. The right to exclude could also be transformed in some cases in a right to include, in order to stimulate some synergies between activities.