The sessions from the online course on “Science-Policy-Society interactions in ecosystem-based marine resources management and planning” organised by the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community and the BlueMed Initiative, in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and the MSPglobal Initiative, are now available online.

All sessions are available here.

BLUE is a non-governmental organisation that aims to restore the ocean’s health by addressing overfishing - one of the world’s biggest environmental problems. BLUE recently published a study, “Exploring the role of offshore wind in restoring priority marine habitats”, in collaboration with the company Ørsted, that assessed the suitability of an offshore site for restoring the native oyster bed.

The article is available here.

BlueMed CSA is organising its final conference, "One Mediterranean: practices, results and strategies for a common Sea", from 22 to 24 February 2020. The event will be broadcast from a digital hub located at the National Research Council (CNR, Italian acronym) in Rome, Italy and will focus on the most relevant outcomes of the BlueMed CSA. 

Participants will connect via the Gotowebinar platform, where they will be able to interact with the speakers by posing questions or comments. Attendees will be asked to fill in a second separate registration form, specifically for the purpose of joining the webinar platform. The link to the webinar will be provided on the conference page at a later stage and will be sent via email to registrants.
A livestream will also be provided via the BlueMed YouTube Channel, and the event will be recorded.

Please find more information on the event page and register using this link.

The Government of Åland has presented its Maritime Spatial Plan proposal for its second consultation.

The Autonomous region of the Åland Islands has the mandate to designate its own Maritime Spatial Plan. The MSP regulation is based on the Åland Islands Water Act legislation. The goals for the MSP are to support the achievement of Good Environmental Status and sustainable development. The second proposal consists of three parts: the interactive web map, MSP layer description and environmental report. At this stage, the MSP proposal and its documents are available in Swedish.

The Maritime Spatial Planning process has actively collaborated with public and private sectors and stakeholders from all levels. The current proposal has not planned the privately owned water areas on the Åland Islands.

The consultation period deadline is the 15th February 2021 at 16:15 local time. Feedback to the MSP proposal is to be sent to the registration office at with a message heading "Remissvar ÅLR 2019/6446".

The government of Åland is looking forward to a fruitful consultation where both public and private stakeholders will engage and give feedback so that they can revise the proposal and finalize a plan that supports the goals the Åland Islands have for a sustainable future.

Please see the MSP webpageinteractive web mapMSP layer description and Environmental report for more details.

Maritime spatial plans exist for the German North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZs and for the territorial sea areas under jurisdiction of the three coastal federal states (Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). The process of revising the current MSP is ongoing. The international consultation for the revision of the maritime spatial plans for the German EEZ started early in the process in the first quarter of 2020. Documents on the international consultation are now available online. A virtual meeting will also be offered on 27 January 2021 in English. A possible second round of consultations may be conducted in the second quarter of 2021.  

Please learn more about the revision of the maritime spatial plans on the webpage.  

Jan 08

The Océan Métiss project (South-Western Indian Ocean Maritime Spatial Planning) developed an innovative SeaSketch tool that aims to visualise spatial data on the physical environment, ecosystems and human activities, as well as to propose zoning and participate in maritime spatial planning of Reunion's marine territories. 

The main purpose of the Ocean Metiss project is to develop an integrated status report on existing factors impacting the local economies and ecosystems and to evaluate the potential offered by the large maritime zone to boost the economic development, by preserving the rich tropical biodiversity.

Please check the SeaSketch tool and learn more about the Océan Métiss project


Two Dutch companies, Oceans of Energy and The Seaweed Company, have created the world’s first combined solar and seaweed farm in the North Sea, demonstrating that solar energy production and seaweed cultivation are possible in the same space. The companies are partners in the EU-funded UNITED project aimed at promoting the more sustainable and efficient use of ocean resources.

The offshore farm has been installed at the North Sea Farmers test site 12 km off the coast of Scheveningen, a district of The Hague. By combining solar energy production and seaweed farming in the same area, the project partners are demonstrating the potential of cultivating seaweed for food in the spaces between offshore wind turbines.

Please read the article here.

The Maritime Spatial Planning Directive was transposed into Finnish law in 2016 and after four years of collaboration with maritime sectors and experts, the first Finish maritime spatial plan has been approved by the eight coastal regional councils.

There are three maritime spatial plans covering both territorial waters and the EEZ: one for the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay drafted by the Regional Councils of Lappi, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Keski-Pohjanmaa and Pohjanmaa; one for the Southern Bothnian Sea and the Archipelago Sea drafted by the Regional Councils of Satakunta and South-Western Finland; and one for the Gulf of Finland drafted by the Regional Councils of Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso.

The Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 for Finland is in a digital form here.

BIOGEARS project invites aquaculture stakeholders to contribute to the consultation on the implementation and opportunities for eco-friendly alternatives to conventional (non-biodegradable) aquaculture gears to be used in the aquaculture sector. The project aims to provide the European aquaculture sector with biobased, biodegradable ropes that are durable, marketable and fit-for-purpose, and hence have a highly reduced carbon footprint along the whole value chain.

Please provide your inputs in English or Spanish

Learn more about the BIOGEARS project here



Blue Planning in Practice (BPiP) is a highly interactive training course developed by Blue Solutions to strengthen practical marine spatial planning (MSP). Due to the current situation related to COVID-19, the workshop on Marine Spatial Planning, previously organised in person, was held as an interactive & participatory virtual training in November 2020.

You may discover here how this training was virtually held.

The Centre for Maritime Research (MARE) is organising 11th International People and the Sea Conference on 28 June - 2 July 2021. The event will be held virtually. The theme of the MARE Conference 2021 - "Limits to Blue Growth?":

Stream 1: Making Blue Livelihoods
Stream 2: Knowing the Blue
Stream 3: Governing, Steering and Managing the Blue Realm 
Stream 4: Emerging Sectors in the Blue Space
Stream 5: Resisting Blue Appropriations 
Stream 6: Blue Crisis 

Please see the call for papers for more information. Panels and individual submissions should be sent via the virtual conference platform. Submission deadline: 31 January 2020.

Please visit or contact for fur further details and updates. 


The self-governing province of the Åland Islands, located off the southwest coast of Finland, is an autonomous region of Finland that has a right to pass MSP legislation on its own territorial sea. At the end of 2019, a first draft MSP was sent out for consultation. During the consultation, 60 consultation statements were received. The current proposal has been revised on the basis of the responses to the consultation and on the basis of the views of the political reference group. A second proposal for a sea plan for Åland is now being submitted for a new consultation. After the consultation process, the plan will be further revised if necessary and adopted by the Åland Provincial Government no later than March 2021.

Please find more information about the process here or consult an interactive map.

Discover the latest Panorama Solution: Establishing the basis for Marine Spatial Planning in the Azores through a participatory process.

PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet is a partnership initiative to document and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and sustainable development topics, enabling cross-sectoral learning and inspiration.


Discover the newly published book "The Urbanisation of the Sea: From Concepts and Analysis to Design" by Nancy Couling (edited by Carola Hein), TU Delft.

The publication includes contributions of authors from various fields, including the planning and policy-making. MSP is discussed in several chapters, but the book also takes a broader view. The North Sea represents the central case study.

Find more information about the book here. The publication is also in open access, please follow the link to TU Delft Open on the publishers webpage.




The MULTI-FRAME 1st project webinar "How is ocean multi-use understood and defined worldwide?" was held on 4 December 2020. The webinar was attended by 91 participants from 24 countries.

The recording of the webinar and the webinar report are now available online. 

Please follow the link for more information. 

Dec 11

The Ocean Multi-Use Knowledge Network aims to facilitate the international exchange between the ongoing multi-use projects on the global level and enhance the communication with the policy and industry community on the topic of ocean multi-use. 

The discussions facilitated through the Knowledge Network are expected to advise the research and policy agendas and increase motivation and confidence for further implementation of the ocean multi-use concept. 

Please join the Network here!

Dec 03

The Slovenian territorial sea and internal waters is limited. The territorial sea covers an area of 166.9 km2, the internal waters 64.3 km2, thus totalling 213.2 km2. This area is characterised by a high density of uses and a significant number of land-sea interactions since it is a heavily urbanised coastal area and also one of the most important tourist destinations in the country. The vision of MSP in Slovenia, mainly due to the limited spatial possibilities and the presence of various ongoing interests, is to ensure conditions for a long-term coexistence of all activities. However, they must comply with the requirements of nature and cultural heritage conservation, as well as the synergy of all other stakeholders in the area. The Maritime spatial plan of Slovenia will be a concrete maritime plan, it will set goals and guidelines for all maritime activities and uses at sea and in the coastal zone. 

The draft Slovenian Maritime Spatial Plan (Pomorski prostorski plan Slovenije) was been prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning in May-June 2020 and the Strategic Environmental Assessment with Environmental report in September 2020. Based on extensive negotiations at the national level, it is anticipated that the public consultation will start in January 2021. The plan will be available for consultation in English, Italian and Croatian. All countries are welcome to express their opinion. Further negotiations should finish by mid-April 2021. The plan should be adopted by the Government and sent to EC by the end of June 2021.

Learn more about the Slovenian MSP here

Do you want to learn more about the MSPglobal Initiative, the sustainable blue economy, land-sea interactions and the sustainable development goals? Have a look at the new flyers developed by MSPglobal, available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese and learn more about the subjects linked to the MSP process worldwide.

Consult MSPglobal flyers here.

The European Commission has launched a Public Consultation on the Energy and Environmental State Aid Guidelines (EEAG). The aim of the consultation is to allow interested parties to provide their feedback regarding the design of the future Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy (EEAG) that will apply from 1 January 2022 and the related articles 36 to 49 in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).

Please see here for more information. The deadline for feedbacks submission is 7 January 2021.


Nov 30

Please check the Map of the Week - Offshore Renewable Energy available on the Maritime Forum!

The map of the week shows the locations of both offshore wind and ocean energy projects throughout European waters.

The data in this map are provided by EMODnet Human Activities.

Please access the map here



Nov 26

This initiative will identify ways to make the EU blue economy more sustainable, in line with the European Green Deal. The blue economy covers all economic activities related to seas and coasts (e.g. shipping & ports, fisheries & aquaculture, coastal tourism). The goal is to aid economic recovery and tackle climate change, by promoting sustainable products and services – e.g. marine renewable energy – that preserve the marine environment and maintain ocean health. 

Please provide your feedback following the link. The deadline for feedbacks submission is 7 December 2020.

Following the adoption by the EC of the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy on 19 November 2020, please see the "Questions & Answers" to learn more about the strategy that proposes ways forward to support the long-term sustainable development of this sector. 

Please read the full article here

Nov 23

This survey aims to explore the perceptions of people knowledgeable on MSP - the scientific community, marine planners, managers, decision-makers, industry, non-governmental organisations, interested members of the general public - on how MSP can both be affected by, and adapt to climate change.

The survey is developed under the OCEANPLAN project (Marine Spatial Planning under a Changing Climate), supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and led by the University of Lisbon, University of the Azores and Nova School of Business and Economics.

The survey is available in English, Portuguese and Spanish. 

Please find more information and participate in the survey here. The survey will be available online until January 2021.


The consultation follows the recent publication of the roadmap that outlines EU plans to achieve zero pollution by better preventing, treating, monitoring and reporting on pollution, and helping to mainstream the ambition in all policies and investment tools.

The purpose of this consultation is to gather views from citizens and stakeholders on an EU Action Plan “Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil”. The European Green Deal announced that, in order to protect Europe’s citizens and ecosystems, the EU needs to move towards a zero pollution ambition, and improve on the prevention and treatment of pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products.

Please find more information and respond to the questionnaire here (the deadline for feedback to be submitted is 10 February 2021).


Eco-union, an environmental association, published the report “Managing the environmental sustainability of nautical tourism in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas“; a research-based policy-oriented report for MPA managers and public authorities, highlighting key environmental management issues related to leisure boating in MPAs.

To learn more about this publication, please follow this link.

The European MSP platform with the support of IOC UNESCO MSPGlobal2030 developed a guidance document dedicated to the communication of Maritime Spatial Planning. This interactive guide aims at helping MSP practitioners better communicate and engage with MSP stakeholders and the wider public at each step of the MSP process, from design to delivery. Highlighting examples and tools which can boost the effectiveness and success of MSP consultation processes, event planning and digital communication, this handbook is packed with examples, ideas and success stories.

Explore the interactive version 

Download the pdf print version

Nov 16

A Coalition of NGOs, wind industry and transmission system operators has joined forces to cooperate on the sustainable deployment of offshore wind, while ensuring alignment with nature protection and healthy marine ecosystems. Eighteen European organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and committed themselves to working together to understand the challenges of, and find solutions for, reconciling the offshore energy infrastructure and nature protection.

Please visit the Offshore Coalition website for more information.

Nov 12

The new North Sea Strategy 2030 has been adopted on 6 November 2020. The strategy represents a steering document for the North Sea Commission and priority list for cooperation in the North Sea Region. It demonstrates the will of regional governments around the North Sea to work together to tackle common challenges.

The strategy identifies four priority areas for cooperation:

1. A productive and sustainable North Sea

    - Healthy Marine environment

    - Maritime Spatial Planning

    - Sustainable aquaculture and fisheries

    - Sustainable blue economy

2. A climate-neutral North Sea Region

3. A connected North Sea region

4. A smart North Sea Region


Please read the full article here.

Nov 04

The deadline of the Public Consultation on the Portuguese National Strategy for the Sea 2021-2030 has been extended until 16 November 2020 - 18h. 

The Portuguese National Strategy for the Sea 2021-2030 is a public policy instrument for the sea that presents the country's vision, objectives, areas of intervention and goals for the period 2021–2030.

Please read more about the public consultation here


Following the agreement between the parties, the Dutch company Van Oord is now a shareholder in Saare Wind Energy, which is developing the Saaremaa offshore wind farm in Estonia.

The development of the Saaremaa offshore wind farm began in 2015. The company is developing an area of up to 200 sq km (77.2 sq mi) southwest of the Estonian Island Saaremaa. The area could facilitate an offshore wind farm of more than 1,000 MW.

The Saaremaa offshore wind farm location offers the unique opportunity for this hybrid project. The combination of good wind resources, an offshore wind location in line with the Marine Spatial Plan and the opportunity to develop interconnectors across the Baltic Sea to Sweden and Latvia, give Estonia the opportunity to take first steps in implementing the vision of the Baltic Sea declaration.

Please read the full article here

An inception impact assessment on sharing responsibility for ocean observation is now open for feedback. This initiative aims to achieve a common EU approach for measuring once but using the data for many purposes which would include:

  • joint planning of observation activities
  • a framework for collaboration on a national and EU scale.

Feedback period: 22 October 2020 - 19 November 2020

To learn more about this initiative and give your feedback, please follow the link

Oct 23

The PERICLES project promotes sustainable, participatory governance of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions. Its aim is to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive framework for understanding, preserving and utilizing maritime cultural heritage.

To discover virtually this project, please check out the new Pericles Story Map and explore the current issues in coastal and maritime cultural heritage by taking a tour through the 8 European case regions.

A new study, requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries, is now available online. 

The study provides an overview of the general impacts of the development of offshore renewables on fisheries in European sea basins. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions for both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, research gaps, and policy recommendations.

Fore more information, please refer to the summary and publication

The Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture, adopted in 2013 (COM 2013/229), have set common priorities and targets for the development of aquaculture activities in the EU. Given developments impacting the sector, including the COVID 19 crisis, as well as the potential of the sector to contribute to policy objectives identified by the new Commission such as decarbonisation, sustainable food systems or the economic development of coastal and inland areas, the Commission is now reviewing these guidelines to support Member States and the sector in further developing aquaculture production in the EU and ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of this economic activity.

This consultation intends to provide the public with an opportunity to contribute to the discussion on main challenges, opportunities and priorities for EU aquaculture in the future, which will feed the review of the Strategic Guidelines scheduled to be adopted in late 2020.

Questionnaires are available in some or all official EU languages. You can submit your responses in any official EU language.

Please find more information and respond to the questionnaire here (the deadline for feedbacks submission is 27 October 2020).

Oct 16

Have you missed MSP news from the past couple of weeks? Don't worry, it is possible to catch up thanks to our review. Here you can find a selection of some of the most relevant news from the past few weeks:

Have a pleasant weekend and see you soon for more MSP news in a nutshell!

The MSPglobal Initiative participated in the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) panel during the All-Atlantic Summit 2020, dedicated to “Clean and Productive Coasts, Bays and Estuaries”, opening the session with a presentation on the ecosystem-based approach concept. One of the roles of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is to promote the ecosystem-based MSP processes through MSPglobal - MSP roadmap.

Please read the full article here

Oct 14

New training opportunities are now presented on the MSP Platform. Among them is an elective course on Maritime Spatial Planning, organised by the University Centre of the Westfjords in Iceland. The training will be provided on 15-26 March 2021.

Please check the MSP Platform Training page for more details.

Oct 13

The Marine Institute is inviting the people of Ireland to share their opinions and comment on the draft assessment, a key technical study for the Irish National Marine Planning Framework. The draft assessment is available for download here. Feedback may be submitted via the online survey.

The survey will be open from Wednesday 7th October to Friday 30th October.

Access the full article here.

The materials from the webinar The effects of climate change in marine spatial planning: pathways and solutions, conducted on 1 October 2020, are now available online. 

Please access the video of the webinar and other relevant documentation here.



At the Offshore Wind Conference, organised by the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW), eight Baltic Sea countries (Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) and the European Commission signed a joint declaration to accelerate the build-out of new offshore wind capacities in the Baltic Sea.

Please access the full text of the article here.




Oct 05

The Natural Environment Minister, Mairi Gougeon, announced the establishment of a new deep sea Marine Protected Area off the West of Scotland. The new MPA will provide additional protection to some of the deepest parts of Scotland’s seas, protecting unique deep sea marine ecosystems.

Please access the full text of the article here.


Relevant documentation from the Stage 3 Transboundary Consultation Meeting on Estonian MSP (23.09.2020) is now available online.

Please see here for more information.

The consortium of the BANOS CSA is now mid-way through developing the framework for the future, intended Baltic and North Sea Research and Development Programme (BANOS). This is a good time to look back and remind ourselves and our stakeholders how the 13 Baltic and North Sea coastal countries involved (BE, DK, EE, FR, DE, LV, LT, NL, NO, PL, SE, UK and FI as observer) through their major national R&I funders think about the rationale behind joining the two regional seas for a joint programme.

Please proceed to the EC website for more information.

The fifth and final call for the EU-funded MaRINET2 project opened on 1 September 2020.

The MaRINET2 offers free access to a world-leading network of testing and research infrastructures. Successful applications will receive free access to four EMEC’s offshore test sites with varying resources and a range of associated testing equipment.

The Call is open to offshore energy technology developers, including offshore wind, wave and tidal energy at full system, subsystem, component or sensor level. Companies are required to have a base outwith the UK or a member of their team based overseas.

The fifth call will close on 16 October 2020.

Successful applicants will receive free access to test facilities between 18 January – 17 July 2021.

For additional information please contact EMEC or MaRINET2.