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Overview of MSP related maritime uses

  • Compared to other Baltic Sea Region countries, the intensity of sea space use in Finland is low - in the northern part - and moderate - in the southern part. Shipping is very active between Helsinki and Tallinn as well as to the Russian harbours along the Gulf of Finland.
  • Current main uses:
    • Shipping
    • Fisheries
    • Tourism

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Drafting maritime spatial plans started in late 2016 after the MSP legislation came into force on the 1st of October 2016. There will be three maritime spatial plans covering both territorial waters and the economical zone:

  1. the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay
  2. the Southern Bothnian Sea and the Archipelago
  3. the Gulf of Finland drafted by the Regional Councils of Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso.

Additionally, there will be an MSP Plan for Aland Island to be developed according to separate planning legislation.


Stocktaking, data and other planning materials will be finalized during the spring 2019, and a public consultation of the planning scenarios is currently open.  The planning phase will be carried out by the beginning of 2020, and thereafter plans are expected to be approved by regional councils.

There already exists one specific regional land use plan which includes the territorial sea: the Regional land use plan for the Kymenlaakso Region territorial sea area.

Regional land use plan for the Sea, Kymenlaakso Region (MSP equivalent)

  • The regional land use plan contains the following sectors:

    • Shipping
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Fishing
    • Aquaculture
    • Tourism (incl. recreation and sports)
    • Under water cultural heritage
    • Nature protection
    • Military

MSP legislation

The maritime spatial planning directive was transposed into Finnish law in 2016. MSP regulations are given as a part of the Land Use and Building Act, which is the most important act to steer land use, spatial planning and construction. Nonetheless, maritime spatial planning is not part of the land use planning system in Finland. Maritime spatial plans are general, non-binding plans that are drafted and approved by the Regional Councils. A national maritime spatial planning coordination group has been established for developing maritime spatial plans and also for developing the planning process.

MSP Website

National MSP authority

Finnish Ministry of the Environment
Department of the Built Environment
Aleksanterinkatu 7
P.O. Box 35, FI-00023 Government, Finland
Phone: +358 29 5250296
Tiina Tihlman: Ministerial Adviser



Last Update 09.09.2020