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Overview of MSP related maritime uses

  • Current main uses:

    • Tourism
    • Fisheries
    • Shipping
    • Aquaculture
    • Ports
    • Mineral extraction
    • Offshore renewable energy production
  • Challenges:

          - Maritime traffic in Strait of Gibraltar

          - High marine biodiversity in Alboran Sea under pressure from:

- shipping

- land-based water discharges

- tourism

- overfishing

- sand extractions (not Spain)

          - Marine protected areas

          - Dumping

          - Underwater cultural heritage

          - Maritime rescue

          - Scientific research

  • Future uses:

    • Offshore renewable energy production (wind and wave)

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

There are currently no maritime spatial plans in existence in Spain. Spain is moving forward on the technical development of the Maritime Spatial Plans, through different simultaneous actions: 

  • Inter-administrative Coordination. A working group has been created, to facilitate coordination between the different departments of the Central Government. For a better coordination with other authorities, a first meeting took place in February 2019 with the regional administrations, in charge of tourism, environment, underwater cultural heritage, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as regional ports. The representatives of local authorities were also present in this meeting. 
  • Stakeholder’s involvement. A first meeting took place in March 2019 with more than 40 representatives of private sectors and NOGs, mainly representing the maritime sectors in Spain at the national level. It is foreseen that after summer 2019, a set of meetings or workshops will be carried out more at the sea basin level, for each of the five marine subdivisions in Spain. 
  • Development and agreement of a set of MSP objectives. A draft document is being developed with the help of the working group, as well as the contributions of the regional governments and stakeholders. It is foreseen that this document will be subject to public consultation, and finally endorsed by the Interministerial Commission of Marine Strategies. 
  • Compilation of existing and future uses and activities in the Spanish marine waters. Based on the information produced for the 2 nd cycle of marine strategies, as well as that provided by the Ministries, regional governments and stakeholders, a first spatial analysis of existing and future uses and activities will be ready soon. 
  • Starting the scoping process for the strategic environmental assessment of the maritime spatial plans. The draft documents will be circulated to the authorities and the public, for obtaining a scoping document that will guide the strategic environmental assessment of the plans. They will also be circulated to the neighbouring countries for them to communicate their intention to participate in the official transboundary consultations. 

MSP legislation

  • Spain adopted the Royal Decree 363/2017 of 8 April establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning, that transposes into Spanish legislation the Directive 2014/89/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July. 
  • The Inter-Ministerial Commission on Marine Strategies (CIEM) was created in 2012 for coordinating the drafting, application and monitoring of marine environmental planning.
  • Competencies on maritime and coastal affairs are shared between central and regional governments.

National MSP authority & Contact

Ministry for Ecological Transition

General Directorate for the Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea

Ms. Sagrario Arrieta Algarra

Coordinadora de Área

Strategic Environmental Assessment


General Directorate of Biodiversity and Environmental Quality

D. Eugenio Jesús Domínguez Collado

Subdirector General de Evaluación Ambiental

Environmental Impact Assessment


General Directorate of Biodiversity and Environmental Quality

D. Eugenio Jesús Domínguez Collado

Subdirector General de Evaluación Ambiental



Last Update 21.04.2020