• Report

    Fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders explore the benefits of Maritime Spatial Planning

    On 15 November 2013, DG MARE organised a workshop on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and fisheries and aquaculture in Vilnius, Lithuania. This event was the second in a series of stakeholder workshops assessing the benefits and challenges of MSP for specific maritime activities. The workshops aim to draw conclusions on the specific needs and best practices on cross-sector cooperation. These conclusions will feed the work of the Commission to support the deployment of MSP in Europe.

    The current popularity of MSP is linked to the growth of particular sectors – especially planning for offshore wind development is an important MSP driver. Other space-demanding maritime activities such as shipping, coastal tourism and the protection of marine areas are also growing significantly. While the growth potential of the EU's Blue Economy will help to create jobs in coastal communities, the workshop aimed at discussing a crucial question: where does that leave traditional maritime activities and especially fisheries?

    The event was chaired by Andrew Lipsky, Director of Science and Policy at SeaPlan and former Ocean Policy Adviser at the White House. Mr Lipsky highlighted the importance of involving fisheries into the planning of other maritime activities. Industry to industry dialogue is essential to understand the possible trade-offs between sectors and consider synergies and mitigation. In terms of knowledge, much cooperative effort is needed to develop, execute and interpret studies jointly. Mr. Lipsky also stressed the importance of climate change, which makes proper planning key to the long-term development of fisheries.

    The discussions between stakeholders mainly focused on the coexistence between economic activities in Europe's sea basins. The fisheries industry in the North Sea stressed its concern that fishing areas were reducing. Strong support was expressed for MSP has a tool to recognise fishermen user rights. As one representative put it: "if you are not at the table, you are on the menu". The cost of collecting and harmonising data to be used for cross-sectoral dialogue was recognised as a major hurdle to cooperation. Especially, little data exists on effort displacement due to new activities – this is crucial in cross-border contexts.

    Stakeholders also explored how MSP can facilitate synergies between sectors and the multi-use of marine space. In Lyme Bay, UK, fishermen and conservationists work through agreed code of practice on the protection of the reefs and the provision of high added-value sea food. In Germany, multi-usage of areas and structure will help develop the aquaculture sector in already crowded sea. Coherence of planning, timing and licensing between aquaculture and wind farms facilitate multi-usage considerably.

    More information on the workshop, as well as the presentations, can be found here: http://www.amiando.com/MSPworkshops_Vilnius.html

    The next workshop will take place in May 2013 in Greece and will be focused on shipping and ports. The following one will discuss tourism during the Italian Presidency. Please contact MARE-E1@ec.europa.eu if you wish to be kept informed.

  • Pictures

  • Effective list of participants

  • Workshop Programme


    Since 2006, the European Commission has supported Maritime Spatial Planning to optimise the use of the marine space for the benefit of economic development and the marine environment. In March 2013, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to support the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management in Europe.

    The Commission is organising the series of stakeholder workshops to assess the benefits and challenges of MSP for specific maritime sectors and activities. On 14 June 2013, in Dublin, the first meeting was dedicated to MSP and energy (oil and gas, offshore wind energy and ocean renewable energy sectors). A short summary can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/mare/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=11256&subweb=342&lang=fr

    Our second workshop in Vilnius will be dedicated to fisheries and aquaculture and will gather experts, industries and NGOs to discuss the coexistence and synergies between fisheries, aquaculture and other maritime sectors in a context of increasing use of marine space. It will focus on the management of competition and co-existence, on data needs for maritime planning of fisheries and aquaculture activities, and on the particularities of cross-border planning.

    The workshop will aim to draw conclusions on the specific needs and best practices on MSP for fisheries and aquaculture. Discussions and conclusions will feed the work of the Commission to support the deployment of MSP in Europe.

    Please note that the workshop is part of a two-day event. On the previous day, Thursday 14 November, HELCOM and PartiSEApate are organising a workshop on MSP and fisheries in the Baltic Sea in the same venue. Although both events can be attended independently, we recommended your participation to both. The HELCOM workshop will be dedicated to the Baltic Sea, while the Commission’s will focus on all European Sea Basins and on aquaculture. For more information on the event organised by HELCOM please contact Marco Milardi (marco.milardi@helcom.fi) or visit the website with some preliminary information regarding the upcoming HELCOM meeting    http://www.helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/meetings/events/fishing-for-space/


    The MSP workshop series: 2. Fisheries and Aquaculture will take place on 15th November 2013, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event is organized by the European Commission.

    The conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Vilnius on 15 November 2013.


    Crowne Plaza Vilnius

    M.K.Ciurlioniog. 84,

    03100 Vilnius, Lithuania

    Tel.: :+370 (5) 27 43 400 - Fax: +370 5 274 34 20

    e-mail: info@cpvilnius.com


    The official working language of the MSP Workwhop series: 2. Fisheries and Aquaculture will be English.

  • Directions

    Event venue address

    M.K.Ciurlionio g. 84 LT 03100 Vilnius, Lithuania 03100 Vilnius Lithuania


  • Contact

    For any questions on the logistics, please contact us at:

    email:  MSPworkshops_Vilnius@gopa-cartermill.com

     Tel: +32.(0)2.286 19 97

    For any questions with regard to the programme please contact: