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.


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

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.


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.  

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.  


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 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.