The EU Marine Strategy Directive (MSD) has a regional focus in its implementation. The directive obliges countries to take multiple uses and the marine strategies of neighboring countries into account when formulating marine strategies and when designating marine protected areas (MPAs). We use game theoretical analysis both to find the optimal size of MPAs with multiple uses by multiple countries and to investigate the influences of multiple uses on cooperation. To this end, we develop a model in which two specific uses, fisheries and nature conservation, by multiple countries are considered in a strategic framework. The results of the paper suggest that EU marine policy such as the MSD and the coming Maritime Policy may help to secure the highest possible benefits from these MPAs if these policies induce cooperation among countries, but only if policies force countries to consider all possible benefits of MPAs. In fact cooperation on a single issue may give a worse outcome than the noncooperative equilibrium. The results also indicate that cooperation may be hard to achieve because of defector incentives, and therefore policy measures should be strict in enforcing cooperation on all possible uses of MPAs.
Punt, M. J., Weikard, R. A., Groeneveld, R. A., van Ierland, E. C., & Stel, J. H. (2010). Planning marine protected areas: A multiple-use game. Natural Resource Modeling, 23(4), 610-646. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-7445.2010.00076.x