Apr 19

EASME has published the study 'MSP for Blue Growth' providing guidelines for successful MSP. The study is divided into three parts, presenting a methdodology for creating an MSP vision process, 9 maritime sector analysis fiches with a specific focus on MSP, and an MSP Indicator Handbook. Download the full study below!

Apr 19

Finland has launched to keep all interested parties informed of their MSP processes.:

The website is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. In addition, a Twitter account has been launched:

Apr 19

The Belgian government has published a Vision for the North Sea 2050. A Think Thank has also been established. The Vision is available for download below.

More about the Vision and Think Thank (website in Dutch and French only)

Apr 19

The first phase of the French public consultation on its National Strategy for the Sea and the Coast is now closed. Between 26 January and 25 March 2018, France held a public consultation which was structured around two methods: an online participatory platform and the organisation of citizen workshops. Within one month after the closing of the consultation, the National Commission for Public Debate will analyse the feedback results and integrate these in a report, which will be published on both the online platform ‘merlittoral2030’ as well as on the National Commission’s website.

All contributions and the summary of local workshops are available on

The workshop on Co-existence and synergies in MSP took place in Edinburgh 4-6 April. The workshop was co-organised by ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM), the Horizon2020 Project MUSES (Multi-Use in European Seas). Apart from the members of the ICES WGMPCZM and MUSES project partners, workshop has also gathered a wide range of maritime professionals, including  government representatives, marine spatial planners, and maritime industry representatives, to discuss synergies and co-existence in marine areas as a key issue in MSP. The workshop had a highly interactive format and discussed questions included 'What types of synergies and resulting benefits can be identified?  What is the role and limitation of MSP in supporting different types of synergies? What are the barriers and preconditions for implementation of the multi-use concept?".

Moreover, in the context of MUSES project workshop participants have discussed what actions are needed to support transition of co-existance and multi-use from concept to life. The workshop report is expected to be completed in July, providing a more structured approach to understanding coexistence and synergy in MSP and its links with other relevant factors including policy, regulation, funding and social perspectives. 

More about MUSES

PLASMAR has published two reports on the state of play of Blue Growth in the Autonomous Portuguese Region of Madeira and the Canary Islands. The reports include a forecast of growth in the maritime sector as well as projections of blue acitivites, including fisheries and transport, by 2030.  PLASMAR will define and propose robust scientific methodologies in support of Maritime Spatial Planning and Blue Growth, taking into consideration the biogeographic characteristics of the Macaronesian Region and searching for a balance between the diverse maritime sectors and the conservation of the natural marine heritage. The report about Madeira is available in English.

Read more..

BalticRIM has been selected by the European Commission as a project under the European Year for Cultural Heritage 2018. This initiave encourages more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage. BalticRIM relates to the EYCH aims as it will systematically include heritage sites in maritime spatial plans across the Baltic Sea. The project helps to identify and designate maritime cultural heritage zones by bringing heritage managers together with spatial information.

More about EYCH:

Apr 11

The Dutch government is developing an Embassy for the North Sea between March 1st and June 29th. The Embassy will be developing a vision regarding the relationship with the North Sea and is asking cittizens to submit motions on behalf of Things, Animals, Plants or Humans. The collective 'Plea for the North Sea' will be presented to Parliament on 29 June.

More about this event

Apr 11

The EU MSP Platform and OCTO: Open Communications for the Ocean are co-organising a webinar on cumulative impact tools, as a follow-up from the expert roundtable on the same topic, held on 18 January 2018.

Cumulative impact tools can be useful for evaluating the environmental effects resulting from human activities in a given area. Several initiatives are underway in Europe to develop and enhance cumulative impact tools and assessments to incorporate the ecosystem-based approach in marine management, as called for in multiple policy frameworks (e.g., Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive, and regional seas conventions such as the Barcelona Convention). This webinar will share latest developments on cumulative impact tools from Europe, including examples of their application from Portugal and Montenegro. The webinar is co-organized by the EU MSP Platform, a service funded by the European Commission to share relevant knowledge and experiences on MSP. The EU MSP Platform recently organized an expert roundtable on cumulative impact tools for maritime spatial planning. Conclusions from this roundtable will be shared during the webinar, including limitations and opportunities for further incorporating these tools in MSP and SEA processes.

The webinar will be held on 3 May 2018 at 15:00 UTC / 16:00 WEST / 17:00 CEST. 

Register for the webinar at

More about the expert roundtable


The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, jointly with IOC-UNESCO, are organising the 1st workshop in Brussels, Belgium on 24 and 25 May, 2018.

Join us for a dynamic and interactive first workshop of the International Forum for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). The event is jointly organised by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, on 24th and 25th of May 2018.  This first workshop of the International Forum for MSP aims to start working on international guidelines on cross-border MSP. This is a direct follow up of the "Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide" adopted during the 2nd International Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning, in March 2017 in Paris. The workshop will include interactive discussions and a wide exchange of good practices, focussing on cross-border integration in MSP and stakeholder involvement. Maritime Spatial planners from all across the world and experts directly involved in planning are welcome to participate and give their input. Please reserve this date and we will get back to you with more information and a draft agenda as soon as possible.

For enquiries about the event, please contact DG MARE through:

The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission organised a two-day workshop on 15-16 March 2018 in Portorož, Slovenia, on the topic of how to apply maritime spatial planning (MSP) in small sea spaces. All presentations are available through the link below.

More about the workshop

Mar 12

A newsletter has been sent out today! This time with contributions on #MSP4SmallSeas, #BaltSPACE, #BlueInvest, brand-new #MSP projects, many new interesting documents and much more.

View the newsletter here

An expert roundtable was organised to share up-to-date information of on-going research and existing good practices, as well as to support the Romanian MSP authority and involved sectoral ministries. Specific needs from the MSP authority and sectoral ministries were identified beforehand:
• What is the relationship between the national plan and other national/European regulations?
• How to extract relevant conclusions from a mass of raw data?
• How to integrate cross-sectorally and analyse synergies or conflicts?
• What is the relationship between terrestrial and maritime areas and how to interact with ICZM aspects?

The roundtable addressed these identified topics and aimed to find out more about specific needs. During the day, the focus was on methodologies necessary for the elaboration of a national MSP. Discussions after
the presentations linked directly to examples of current processes and provided input. The roundtable fostered a better understanding of the four selected aspects of MSP, taking into account the importance of
strengthening collaboration between administrative institutions. Time for discussion and exchange concretely addressed the most pressing questions from the participants and provided answers how
regarding MSP can be turned into a real planning process. The roundtable also took into account results of the MARSPLAN-BS project.

Read the minutes of the meeting here:

Read the full report including all presentations

Together with its stakeholders and the French Maritime Council, French public authorities are currently drawing up 4 'Documents Stratégiques de façade' – one for each French maritime coastline (East Channel-North Sea, North Atlantic-West Channel, South Atlantic, Mediterranean). In this context, a public consultation was launched on 26 January which will run until 25 March 2018. It is structured around two modalities:

  1. The set-up of an online participatory platform aimed at allowing the public to learn more about the planning and objectives and to submit comments on the proposed future vision. Participants will also have the possibility to interact and exchange along themselves. The platform can be found at:
  2. The organisation of public workshops in several coastal cities. More information on these meetings can be found on

Within one month after close of the consultation, the National Commission for Public Debate will analyse the results and integrate these in a report, which will be published on both the online platform ‘merlittoral2030’ as well as on the National Commission’s website. During the second half of 2018, a report on how stakeholder opinions were considered will be annexed to the draft final strategic documents which will then be submitted to a final consultation.

More information on the public consultation


A briefing paper has been published for the upcoming workshop on MSP in Small Sea Spaces! Read the briefing paper here:

Registration has now closed.

More about this event

A new version of the agenda has been published for the Small Sea Space workshop organised by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission. The workshop will take place on 15-16 March 2018 in Portorož, Slovenia.

Registration is open until 28 February: Register here.

More about this event

The NorthSEE project will organise an unique stakeholder workshop on ecological aspects within the (greater) North Sea region, which will take place on Wednesday 18 April 2018 at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) at Texel in the Netherlands. Texel has an unique geographical location between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea where people live with the sea. The North Sea is a rich environmental asset. However, economic activities (such as shipping, fishing, oil and gas extraction, offshore renewables, recreation and military activities) influence the environment and have an impact on the flora and fauna in the (greater) North Sea region. Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in general and the NorthSEE project in particular aim at contributing to a sustainable North Sea region. The focus of this first NorthSEE workshop will be on achieving cross-border coherency in dealing with ecological and environmental aspects of Marine and Maritime Spatial Planning in the (greater) North Sea area.

Ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning requires an understanding of current mechanisms, methods, ambitions and measures to deal with the marine environment. During this workshop we will present our work on this so far and like to discuss with you the way ahead. This will involve securing and sharing data and information available needed for answering relevant cross border MSP topics including: Achieving a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas. Ecological modelling for MSP and estimating (cumulative) pressures. Carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessments. Consultation processes and stakeholder involvement. Dealing with blind spots, emerging topics and new evidence.

These aspects will be discussed with the help of an interactive simulation game, the Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge 2050 - NorthSEE edition. The MSP Challenge is a computer supported simulation-game that gives maritime spatial planners and stakeholders insight in the diverse challenges of sustainable planning of human activities in the marine and coastal ecosystem.

More about this event

Feb 21

The BaltSPACE project launched a video 'MSP Explained: Integration challenges in Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea Region'. With the BALTSPACE interactive tool you are able to explore the projects findings in an easy and understandable manner. Learn more about the main challenges related to incorporating stakeholders, knowledge, different sectors and different governments into the MSP process. Click on the buttons in the 4 interactive areas to read the most important project findings related to these challenges. Surf to and explore these findings by yourself!

Watch the video here

A summary report has been published from the Cumulative Impacts Tools Roundtable. The report presents summaries of the sessions, including reflections on existing as well as new cumulative impacts tools and approaches, institutional interest with relevance to MSP, and limitations and opportunities for applying such tools in MSP and Strategic Environmental Assessments. The report also reflects on next steps. 

Read the report here

Feb 09

The report of the stakeholder conference about the future of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund "Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe’s Coastal Communities" has been published.

Read the report here

Feb 07

The projects are supported with EMFF funding and will take place across Europe and the Southeast Indian Ocean:

Pan Baltic Scope will build upon a previous project to continue the development of innovative tools, exchange of data and improved harmonisation and coherence of MSP approaches, expanding these to the entire Baltic Sea. 

SEANSE will develop a coherent approach to Strategic Environmental Assessments with a focus on renewable energy in support of MSP implementation. 

Macaronesian Maritime Spatial Planning (MarSP) will provide management tools for the sustainable development of strategic sectors such as tourism, aquaculture or renewable energy.

OCEAN METTISS objective is to identify key factors for economic development of the Réunion Island.


Feb 05

The objective of the PANACeA project is to streamline networking and management efforts in Mediterranean Protected Areas, as a mechanism to enhance nature conservation and protection in the region. An event was organised to link Mediterranean research, practitioners & policy makers  to streamline efforts to conserve biodiversity. The event report is available here.



A draft version of the agenda has been published for the Workshop on MSP in Small Sea Spaces that will be orgainsed on 15-16 March 2018 in Portorož, Slovenia by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission. The two-day workshop will focus on the topic of how to apply maritime spatial planning (MSP) in small sea spaces. Specific challenges emerge in small sea areas, whether they fall under national competence or they are part of a multi-scale, nested approach. Both cases present real challenges: high concentration of uses, intense land-sea interactions, limited availability of free space and the need for transboundary cooperation (among countries and among regions within a country).

The workshop is aimed at national MSP authorities, representatives of sub-national authorities, planners and other experts dealing with MSP in small sea spaces. Based on a wide exchange of practices and interactive discussions, workshop participants will help identify challenges and specific elements of maritime spatial planning in small sea spaces.

View the draft agenda here:

Registration is now open - please use this link to register and for additional logistical information. Please be aware that workshop participation will be confirmed on an individual basis. 

Please stay updated through the Twitter account @EU_MSP_Platform or for more information

Jan 31

The first newsletter of 2018 has been published! Read all about the upcoming workshop 'MSP in Small Sea Spaces', for which the registration has now been opened and a draft version of the agenda has been published. Check out our description of the new Paddle project, on MSP in tropical regions and their upcoming workshop; the BalticLINes MSP Shipping workshop, the publication of a tutorial on a tool for assessing the socio-economic benefits of MSP, and much more!

View the newsletter here.

COLUMBUS and EurOcean teamed up to build a fully revamped user-friendly tool for you to find out who is doing what and their research achievements in marine research.

The new BETA version of EurOcean’s Marine Knowledge Gate is ready! The tool has been in the making since 2016 within the framework of the H2020 project COLUMBUS. EurOcean will continue to update and review it systematically in the future. The official launch of the new BETA version of the infobase took place on 24 January 2018 at the COLUMBUS conference on knowledge transfer, challenges and solutions to optimise the research system in Brussels.

The Marine Knowledge Gate is where you can find the most comprehensive information repository on Europe’s marine and maritime research projects and their key tangible outputs – the Knowledge Outputs. The Marine Knowledge Gate is much more than a database. It is a unique, innovative, open access tool that directs you to the products of research activity. It also promotes new synergies and networking within the marine research community and identifies the most relevant and trendy research and development topics.

Read more

The country information profile for the United Kingdom is now available on the UK country page. This document described the context for MSP in the UK, as well as the current status of MSP plan development in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

View the country information profile here.

A selection of 48 draft stories has been published by the COLUMBUS project on Knowledge Transfer across European Marine and Maritime Sectors. All final stories will be uploaded to the COLUMBUS website in a final version after the end of the project, on 1 March 2018.

View the stories here

The theme of the 2nd Society & the Sea conference is 'The values of the ocean and coasts for sustainable development'. The aim of the GMC is to engage multiple stakeholders in an exploration of the value of the ocean and how that can be recognised, communicated and harnessed to contribute to the health, wealth and wellbeing of society. This requires using perspectives and developing partnerships across academia and industry and engaging in creative conversation about the ocean, coasts and their values for sustainable development. A call for proposals on sessions, papers and posters is currently out. More information can be found here. The deadline is 16 February.

More information

A dynamic presentation of the Plan4Blue project was also produced, setting out the results achieved and planned, and can be accessed here. Results of the meeting have been summarized and can be read here.

All publications of the project are listed on this webpage.


North-West Europe is one of the highest energy consuming regions in the EU and faces a number of energy-related challenges, including the low share of renewables in the production and consumption mix and NWE’s strong dependence on non-renewable energy sources.  NWE regions thus need to improve renewable energy distribution and generation infrastructure to reach the EU 2030 targets and to reduce GHG emissions. In this context, in 2018 the NWE Programme launched a targeted call to support projects that contribute to increasing the share of renewable energy supply and demand in North-West Europe. For project activities, the Programme is particularly looking for projects that deal with demonstration, implementation and roll-out, and contribute to one of the Specific Objectives of Priority 2: Low carbon.

Read more

The researchers of the BONUS BALTSPACE project have for the past three years studied MSP processes in the Baltic Sea Region. In particular, they have analysed them for different types of integration mechanisms, i.e. policy and sector integration, integration across scales and boundaries, stakeholder integration as well as integration of the knowledge base. The researchers identified challenges as well as enabling conditions in MSP processes and developed approaches that support the work of maritime spatial planners.

At the project conference “Reaching across sea spaces – Results on MSP from the BONUS BALTSPACE project”, the project partnership will present findings with particular focus on stakeholder and cross-border integration. Together with invited representatives from other regional seas contexts they will discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions for MSP.

More about this event

Jan 25

Latest progress in Italian MSP: Guidelines produced for the for preparation of MSPlans. The guidelines can be viewed here and are in Italian only.

The Welsh Government’s public consultation on the first Draft National Marine Plan for Wales is still open. Stakeholders are invited provide comments by the 29th of March 2018. To find out how to respond online, via email or by post please see A conference facilitated by Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum will also be held in Cardiff on the 20th February 2018. Interested parties can register here.

Jan 24

BalticLINes MSP Challenge Shipping Workshop

24.01.2018 - 25.01.2018

Riga, Latvia

BalticLINes is organising an international shipping sector stakeholder meeting and interactive simulation for the Baltic Sea “Shaping the Future of Shipping in the Baltic Sea”. The meeting will take place on January 24 – 25, 2018 in Riga, Latvia.

During the meeting national and transnational shipping sector stakeholders from the Baltic Sea Region will be introduced to the proposals for the future scenarios of the shipping sector in relation to the Maritime Spatial Planning. Shipping sector stakeholders will engage in interactive simulation MSP Challenge 2050 in which the proposed scenarios for shipping sector will be visualised. The MSP Challenge 2050 will allow participants to think in real future terms about the development of the whole region and share their competences and expertise for the benefit of ongoing Maritime Spatial Planning process. It will give an opportunity for various stakeholders to interact with each other, test and evaluate possible scenarios in order to experience the complexity of the different aspects, ranges, interactions, and influences regarding the future development of human activities in the Baltic Sea. Participants will have an opportunity to share and gather knowledge, needs and ideas on the shipping sector. Thereby, they can contribute and enrich Maritime Spatial Planning process across the Baltic Sea.

The meeting is organised within the project Baltic LINes where representatives from nine countries around the Baltic Sea aim to increase transnational coherence of shipping routes and energy corridors in Maritime Spatial Plans. The Baltic LINes project is financed by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and holds EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region flagship status.

Video trailer of the MSP Challenge 2050 Baltic Sea edition:

More about BalticLINes

Jan 24

The presentations given during the final conference of the MARSPLAN BS project have now been published online. The conference was attended by representatives of the central and local public authorities in Romania and Bulgaria, academic representatives, research sector, NGOs relevant for maritime spatial planning, representatives from the private sector.

View the presentations here

An expert roundtable on cumulative impact tools was organised on 18 January in Venice, Italy, bringing together subject experts and tool developers to discuss development of these tools as they relate to MSP. Cumulative impact tools are of particular interest for implementing the ‚ecosystem based approach‘ in MSP, in accordance with the EU MSP Directive. A conference report will be published soon and the presentations can be downloaded here.

The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission is organising a two-day workshop on 15-16 March 2018 in Portorož, Slovenia, on the topic of how to apply maritime spatial planning (MSP) in small sea spaces. Specific challenges emerge in small sea areas, whether they fall under national competence or they are part of a multi-scale, nested approach. Both cases present real challenges: high concentration of uses, intense land-sea interactions, limited availability of free space and the need for transboundary cooperation (among countries and among regions within a country).

A draft version of the agenda has been published and can be viewed here:

Registration for the event is now open. Please use this link to register.

The workshop is aimed at national MSP authorities, representatives of sub-national authorities, planners and other experts dealing with MSP in small sea spaces. Based on a wide exchange of practices and interactive discussions, workshop participants will help identify challenges and specific elements of maritime spatial planning in small sea spaces.

Please stay updated through the Twitter account @EU_MSP_Platform or for more information.

More about this event

Jan 22

The Marine Management Organisation in England are organising a series of events across England to engage on the draft visions and options for marine planning in the north east, north west, south east and south west. The workshops will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to check progress towards the development of the plans and will focus on: 

  • draft marine plan area visions
  • draft options to address issues in each marine plan area
  • the next steps in marine planning  

The workshops will be held at the following locations: 




North West Whitehaven 07/02/18
North West Liverpool 08/02/18
South East Chatham 21/02/18
South East London 22/02/18
South West Newquay 06/03/18
South West Plymouth 07/03/18
South West Weston-Super-Mare 08/03/18
North East Seahouses 20/03/18
North East Newcastle 21/03/18
North East Middlesbrough 22/03/18

Further information can be found at or by contacting Jessica Churchill-Bissett ( ). You can register for the events at

Following the release of the draft Welsh National Marine Plan in December 2017 the Welsh Government are seeking views on a consultation. The plan aims to explain how the Welsh Government will manage the sustainable development of their seas, support Blue Growth across multiple industries while protecting wildlife, habitats and natural resources. It sets out policies for future use of the seas which will need to be taken account of by developers in bringing forward new proposals and by public authority decision makers eg. in determining marine licences. In addition to various feedback opportunities including an online survey, the Welsh Government are hosting a series of public events across Wales where stakeholders can meet members of the team, ask questions and discuss how marine planning may affect them. Online consultation on the plan has now been launched and will run until 29th March 2018. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback via the consultation document which can be accessed here. The public events will all be drop-in sessions running from 2pm – 8pm on the following dates:

Location Venue Date
Bangor The Management Centre, Bangor 24/01/18
Aberystwyth Bellevue Royal Hotel 24/01/18
Flint Flint Town Hal 26/01/18
Cardiff All Nations Centre 30/01/18

This series of events will be followed by a further conference in Cardiff on the 20th of February 2018. For more details please visit

Jan 22

EUMOFA has launched new country profiles, aiming to offer a unique and detailed snapshot of each stage of the fisheries and aquaculture supplychain of each EU country. Read more about the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) here and download the country fiches below:
























Jan 22

The report of the 2nd International Conference on Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning,  jointly organized by the European Commission – Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO last year in Paris, is now available. Download the report here. Videos are also available of the conference sessions here.

Jan 02

Many new items have been added to the EU MSP Platform website in the month of December, take a look below!



Funding opportunities

News items