In the context of the MSP Directive, France has divided its metropolitan maritime space into four sea basins ("façades"), each subject to a specific planning process. Between 2018 and 2019, Sea Basin Strategy Documents were published for each of the sea basins. This specific study refers to the Sea Basin Strategy Document for the North Atlantic. It provides a detailed description of the current situation (physical and biological aspects, human activities etc.), as well as strategic objectives in line with the National Strategy for the Sea and Coast (2017).
QUESTIONS THIS PRACTICE MAY HELP ANSWER:
- What are the main issues concerning the French North Atlantic sea basin?
- What strategic objectives have been defined for the French North Atlantic sea basin?
- How is marine spatial planning applied in France?
As part of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008) and the Maritime Spatial Planning Framework Directive (2014), France has adopted a National Strategy for the Sea and Coast (2017). This national strategy is adapted for each sea basin using a planning document for reference.
ASPECTS / OBJECTIVES:
The document provides a summary of the current situation in the North Atlantic Sea Basin with regard to the main activities and related socio-economic issues, research initiatives, as well as the state of marine and coastal ecosystems and associated issues. It highlights the major challenges and provides a vision for 2030 with associated strategic objectives. This Sea Basin Strategy will serve as a basis for developing an action plan for the Sea Basin, to be provided by 2021.
The Sea Basin Strategy Document has been drafted by the Sea Basin Council for the North Atlantic Coast, which includes representatives of the local maritime administrations (préfécture maritime de l'Atlantique and préfécture de Pays de Loire), local authorities, coastal and maritime activities, and associations on protection of the marine environment. A public consultation has been organised to obtain the public’s input. Public opinion has also been consulted through the www.merlittoral2030.gouv.fr platform.
MAIN OUTPUTS / RESULTS:
The document defines a maritime spatial planning strategy at a sub-national scale. This is the first time that the strategy concerning the maritime space in France has been developed to this scale. Along with the vision for 2030 and associated strategic objectives, the document provides a "designated-use map", which demonstrates the division of the French North Atlantic Sea Basin into 15 zones, corresponding to areas with similar issues and potentials as a basis for spatial implementation of strategic objectives.
The document has been specifically drafted for the North Atlantic basin in the framework of the French maritime policy, the practice is therefore not transferable to another country.
Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition
Interregional Direction of Sea of North Atlantic