Choi, H.-J.; Cho, S.-J.; Hwang, T.; Nam, J., and Hwang C.S., 2021. Cumulative impact assessment for marine spatial planning: A case study of the Gyeonggi Bay in South Korea. In: Lee, J.L.; Suh, K.-S.; Lee, B.; Shin, S., and Lee, J. (eds.), Crisis and Integrated Management for Coastal and Marine Safety. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 114, pp. 360–364. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Cumulative impact assessment (CIA) techniques for marine spatial planning (MSP) exist in Europe and North America. Effective MSP requires a process for evaluating the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems, that is, a CIA. In Korea, MSP has progressively been developed for waters since the enactment of an MSP law (Act on Marine Spatial Planning and Management) in 2019. This study aims to perform the first CIA for Korea, evaluate its limitations, and assess alternatives for an operational MSP. This study involves an extensive review of the literature, followed by an assessment of the cumulative impact of human activities on the marine ecosystem in Gyeonggi Bay, Korea. Information on the marine ecosystems and influencing activities was collected, and the concept of the activity–pressure–ecosystem relationships adopted. The results reveal high cumulative impact scores along the coast, where human activities are concentrated, with fishing activities accounting for the highest proportion (i.e., 60.3% for gillnet, trap, and stow-net fishing) of the total cumulative impact among the marine activities. The cumulative impact is confirmed to vary by activity depending on whether the weight of the marine ecosystem is applied. This study provides an overview for quantifying the cumulative impacts of marine activities within a spatial context. It also highlights the importance of adequately considering the collection and processing of data before CIA. In addition, the activity–pressure–ecosystem linkage concept must consider the conditions of the study area to improve the accuracy and reliability of CIA. Further, the analysis and mapping techniques for CIA require improvement. This study can be used as a guideline for developing and utilizing the CIA tool in countries and regions planning to adopt MSP.