News

2021

April

The Commission has published a roadmap for an Action plan to conserve fisheries resources and protect marine ecosystems. The plan points out where action is needed to address the by-catch of sensitive species and adverse impacts on sensitive habitats through technical measures such as area closures, gear changes and mitigation measures for sensitive species. It contributes to one of the main objectives of the European Green Deal, in making fisheries more sustainable, protecting marine ecosystems and their biodiversity.

Please give your feedback here. Deadline 13 may 2021.

 

EU countries are required under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to develop strategies in order to achieve ‘good environmental status’ and have clean, healthy and productive seas by 2020.

The Commission has published a roadmap for the review of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to explore options for improvement and propose possible amendments. This roadmap is open for feedback until 6 May 2021 through the Have your say portal. Feedback will be taken into account for further development and fine tuning of the initiative. The Commission will summarise the input received in a synopsis report explaining how the input will be taken on board and, if applicable, why certain suggestions can't be taken up. Feedback received will be published on this site and therefore must adhere to the feedback rules.

Learn more about this initiative here. 

 

Apr 13

In parallel with the European Maritime Day Conference in Den Helder (20-21 May 2021), “EMD In My Country 2021” events will take place throughout Europe from April to October 2021.  A number of them are related to Maritime Spatial Planning:

The entire list of events held for “EMD in my country 2021” is available here.

Apr 09

Have you missed the last weeks of MSP news? Don't worry, it is possible to catch up thanks to our review! You can find a selection of some of the most relevant updates here:

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

Apr 06

The plan that now goes in consultation for six months is a historic one. Denmark has never before had a holistic plan for how to use the many opportunities the ocean offers. The coming spatial plan will apply to the marine internal waters, the territorial sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Please read the full article on the Danish Maritime Authority website.

Follow the link for further information on the Danish MSP.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and his departmental colleagues Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD, welcomed the approval given at Cabinet for the Irish National Marine Planning Framework, a step identified in the Interim Climate Actions 2021 for facilitating the development of offshore wind energy. 

Please read the full article here.

March

According to the decision ÅLR 2019/6446, the Åland provincial government has approved its first maritime spatial plan following the last consultation period that ended on 15 February 2021. The plan entered into force on 22.03.2021 and should be updated at least every six years.

Please see the supporting documents and online map for more details. 

Mar 25

With the implementation of the new long-term EU budget, some EASME managed programmes are moving to the new European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). From 1 April, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the Life Programme, Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency and partly Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge ‘Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials will by managed by the new Agency.

Read the full article on the EASME website.

Mar 24

A new video published by Euronews on 17 March 2021 highlights the fact that, “Fishermen and wind farms must learn to coexist”. Given the European Union’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2050, an increasing portion of the sea is currently occupied by wind farms. This situation, coupled with the proliferation of marine protected areas, could benefit from maritime spatial planning to help all users of the sea live together.

Watch the full video here.

The Managing Authority of the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme together with the members of the Task Force are preparing the new programme for the 2021-2027 period. After several meetings and the benefit of advice from a team of experts, we are now presenting a summary of the strategy for the next Atlantic Area Programme and launching a public consultation, open to all Atlantic stakeholders and interested parties.
You are invited to contribute and share your opinion with us on this proposal. Your contributions regarding lessons learnt and room for improvement for the future programme will also be welcomed. Your answers will provide us with valuable inputs to better define our priorities, objectives and results to be achieved during the next programming period.

The deadline to submit this questionnaire is Monday, 29th of March 2021.

You can access here the public consultation.

 

The European MSP Platform organised an online event dedicated to communication tools, strategies and examples of successful communication initiatives for Maritime Spatial Planning advancement in Europe. In partnership with IOC UNESCO MSP global initiative, this event reached stakeholders well beyond European Member states with participants from Morocco, China, Iran, Norway and Iceland.

Available presentations:

 

The new European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) Geology shoreline-migration map based on field measurements and aerial s is now freely accessible from the EMODnet Geology portal! This portal is one of several EMODnet portals with the purpose of strengthening blue growth in Europe. The new map allows policy makers, together with national and regional coastal managers, to know how and at what rate our coasts are changing.

Download the press release in PDF.

Visit the EMODnet Geology portal: www.emodnet-geology.eu

Mar 17

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, partner of the MSPglobal Inititative, has published five new documents. Discover how existing and future conditions, sustainable blue economy, climate change, capacity development and ocean governance relate to, and interact with, maritime spatial planning in the new policy briefs.

All documents are accessible here.

BlueMed CSA has organised its final conference from 22 to 24 February 2020. The event focused on the most relevant outcomes of the BlueMed CSA. All the sessions have been recorded and are now available on the conference webpage, as well as the speakers’ presentations and the graphical recording panels realised by Gabriele Peddes.
Please access the materials from the conference here.

Mar 11

Would you like to learn more about the SIMAtlantic project (Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in the Atlantic) that started in 2019? Who are the partners? What are the pilot study areas, themes and expected impacts of the project? Please see the project website and a new leaflet summarising the work.

 

A new document « MSPglobal Policy Brief: Ocean Governance and Marine Spatial Planning “ produced by Andrea Morf (Swedish  Institute  for  the  Marine  Environment), Mario Caña (GRID-Arendal,  Norway), Deborah Shinoda (Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom) and published by the Intergovernmental  Oceanographic  Commission  of  the  United  Nations  Educational,  Scientific  and  Cultural Organization is now available online.

Please access the document here.

Mar 05

Have you missed the last three weeks of MSP news? Don't worry, it is possible to catch up thanks to our review! You can find a selection of some of the most relevant updates here:

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

Mar 03

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the World Ocean Council (WOC) are collaborating to advance the role of the agency in furthering ocean sustainable development, in support of the “Blue Worlds Task Force” which brings together ESA Member States representatives and ESA experts to focus on the Blue Economy.

WOC invites the European ocean business and industry participants to complete ESA’s short questionnaire on how space-based systems and data can help develop, safeguard and enable sustainable growth in the maritime sector. The survey closes on 7 March.

For further information and to access the survey, please follow the link.

Baltic Rim Economies (BRE), a discussion forum that deals with the development and tropical issus of the Baltic Sea region, published by the Pan-European Institute of Turku School of Economics, released its first review of the year on 25 February 2021. The review is dedicated to a special issue on the Baltic Sea protection. It highlights the maritime spatial planning for improved environment in the Baltic Sea in the article written by Liene Gaujeniete, a Spatial Planning Expert (VASAB Secretariat).

Please read the article here.

February

Feb 26

Following the publication of the Communicating MSP handbook, this webinar hosted by the European MSP Platform and IOC UNESCO MSP Global will look at in more detail three chapters and three projects highlighted in the guide.

With the support of MSP Platform and MSP Global experts, we invite you to take part in this online exchange to learn more about “Demonstrating MSP in the making”, “Visual and experience communication for MSP”, and “Adoption of MSP: engagement by involvement”. Key speakers will also share their experience and advice on three ‘change-making’ MSP communication initiatives: Maritime spatial plan Finland 2030, the Irish MSP online communication strategy, and the MSP Challenge.

Join us on March 16th at 14h00 at this link.

The 'Knowledge Flows in Marine Spatial Planning' Spring School 2021 is led by the Universities of Liverpool (UK), Nantes (France), and the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE). It involves all partners of the Knowledge Flows in Marine Spatial Planning ERASMUS+ project. The KF-MSP Spring School 2021 challenges participants to:

  • Deepen their understanding of MSP;
  • Strengthen their knowledge through practical lessons;
  • Tackle challenges as a group;
  • Engage in discussion with fellow students and MSP experts from across Europe.

The KF-MSP Spring School 2021 will take place online across 3 weeks beginning on Monday the 1st of March. It will cover 6 days in total, with lectures and discussions on Mondays and workshops being held on Tuesdays. Lectures will be recorded so available throughout the week.

For further information and registration, please see the webpage.

A new report by a non-profit association WindEurope summarises construction and financing activity in European offshore wind farms from 1 January to 31 December 2020. The report demonstrates that Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 25 GW. That corresponds to 5,402 grid-connected wind turbines across 12 countries, with an addition of 2.9 GW of offshore capacity during 2020.

With current 25 GW of offshore wind energy being produced, Europe could reach its goals to build 300 GW of offshore wind by 2050.

For more information, please see the WindEurope report.

 

EMODnet has recently published a new video on MSP. This short film presents how EMODnet is providing access to transboundary data and products on marine environmental parameters, as well as human maritime activities to support Maritime Spatial Planning.

EMODnet is a consortium of organisations assembling European marine data, data products and metadata from diverse sources in a uniform way.

Please watch the video here

For further information see the EMODnet dedicated webpage.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, invite submissions, observations and comments on the report of an expert advisory group on marine protected areas (MPAs) entitled “Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network”.

The aim of this public consultation is to invite you to share your views on the process by which Ireland’s network of MPAs will be expanded.

To get involved, please use Chrome/Edge/Safari/Firefox browsers to complete and submit the online survey

Submissions close on 30 July 2021 at 5pm.

Please see here for more information.

In the scope of SIMAtlantic project, a survey on Cumulative Effects/Impacts Assessment (CEA/CIA) and SEA practices at national level was developed. The main objective is to identify approaches and methodologies used by different countries regarding SEA, CEA/CIA and Ecosystem services related to MSP. This survey intends to examine different experiences in the application of SEA to MSP, the methodologies used for CEA/CIA, and how were ecosystem services integrated and considered. 

If you are knowledgeable about SEA, CEA/CIA or ecosystem services in the context of MSP in one of the SIMAtlantic countries (France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain or United Kingdom), please complete this survey. 

The results will allow identifying the main adopted approaches and methodologies, as well as the main challenges in the SIMAtlantic countries.

BalticRIM project brings together actors in charge of Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) from seven countries around the Baltic Sea, including the Russian Federation, to jointly develop commonly agreed spatial planning perspectives for MCH. The project is now completed and results are presented in two documents: the BalticRIM Final Report and Handbook, displaying the project solutions.

Please see the Final Report and Handbook for more details. 

You may also find all project reports and outputs here

A new report on "Best Practice in Maritime Spatial Planning: Towards Mutually Beneficial Outcomes for Fishers, Renewable Energy Production and Marine Conservation”, commissioned by Grace O’Sullivan, member of the European Parliament for Ireland South, on behalf of the Greens in the European Parliament has been published. 

The report highlights the innovative potential of MSP, drawing on case studies of good practice in British Columbia (community-based, ecosystem-based management approach), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (sea-use regulation, legal certainty) and the Dutch North Sea (strategic, future-oriented agenda-setting perspective). 

Please access the publication here.  

The Better Off Blue 2.0 Event Series, organised and co-financed by the Blue Platform project, the GRASS and the Alliance+ projects, will be held online throughout 2021. The Event Series will present the outputs of the three projects and disseminate the ‘Baltic Blue Bioeconomy Roadmap 2030‘.

Preliminary topics include (tbc): 

  • Macroalgae
  • Innovative fish products
  • Mussels
  • Maritime Spatial Planning
  • Multi-Use
  • Blue Bioeconomy Legislation and regulation
  • Feed
  • Novel products
  • Environmental services / benefits (carbon/nutrients)
  • Start-up pitching
  • Marine litter
  • Blue Biotechnology
  • Optimal siting
  • Relevant technologies in the Baltic
  • Alliance+ Blue Growth Accelerator
  • Company Panel Session
  • Blue Platform Baltic Blue Bioeconomy 2030 Roadmap Launch
  • Ocean Literacy

Please see here for more information. You can also access the even page for more details.

 

Feb 03

A new document was produced as part of the SIMAtlantic project. It represents a literature review focusing on cumulative impacts, strategic environmental assessment and ecosystem services in a maritime spatial planning context in the European sea basins. The report is available on the project website.

The SIMAtlantic project aims to support the establishment and implementation of Maritime Spatial Plans in line with MSP Directive requirements.

Please see the publication here.  

January

Jan 28

A new publication "Ecosystem-Based MSP for Enhanced Fisheries Sustainability: An Example from the Northern Adriatic" by the Tools4MSP group has been published in Sustainability Journal. The study aimed to test a repeatable Marine Spatial Planning framework to enhance fisheries sustainability through the application of Decision Support Tools and the composition of a catalog of possible measures.

Access the publication here

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 broadcasted 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 registrator@regeringen.ax 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

2020

December

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 www.marecentre.nl or contact info@marecentre.nl 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.