The space occupied by traditional and new human-based marine uses at sea is expanding, creating a need for developing methods to assess interactions between co-located uses in maritime spatial planning (MSP). However, no clear terminology for use-use interactions exists. Thus, an analytical framework for spatial decision support tools (DSTs) to assess use-use interactions is deduced from literature. Four spatial-temporal links are found to either alone or together constitute use-use interactions: location links, environmental links, technical links, and user attraction links. It is found to be important for DSTs to support co-location management in MSP by iteratively through the MSP process 1) spatially-temporally locate spatial-temporal links constituting use-use interactions, 2) list conflicts and synergies of the located use-use interactions, and 3) weight the conflicts and synergies. With this analytical framework, two types of DSTs are analysed for their ability to include co-location; matrix- and ranking-based DSTs to detect conflicts and synergies and space allocating DSTs to avoid/minimise conflicts and optimise synergies. Whereas the first group of tools categorise or rank use-use combinations, the latter group use information about which multi-use combinations are possible as pre-existing knowledge, and thus the two groups of DSTs can advantageously be used together. A discrepancy is found between the co-location framework and the DSTs. It is argued that future tools could work on removing this discrepancy by considering the spatial-temporal links of use-use interactions, strengthen the focus on synergies, as well as prioritize ranking of synergies and conflicts over binary approaches that only evaluate spatial compatibility.
- A heoretical framework describing marine human-based use-use interactions is developed.
- Existing decision support tools are analysed for their ability to assess marine use-use interactions.
- Spatial-temporal links constituting marine use-use interactions need to be further explored.
- The focus on synergies could advantageously be strengthened in future tools supporting MSP.
- Ranking of conflicts and synergies could advantageously be expanded in future tools supporting MSP.