Comments invited on the draft for Finland’s first maritime spatial plan – aim to combine the use and good status of marine environment

Press release 2020-05-18 at 12:45

This is the first comprehensive maritime spatial plan concerning Finland’s sea areas. The purpose of the plan is, in broad outline, to designate areas that have potential and could be suitable for certain uses – fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, tourism and maritime transport. The aim is to coordinate the needs of different sectors to improve the conditions for maritime industries and livelihoods and the status of the marine environment.

The planning takes place in cooperation between the coastal Regional Councils, and the maritime spaces included are the Gulf of Finland, Archipelago Sea, southern Bothnian Sea, northern Bothnian Sea, Kvarken and Bothnian Bay. The areas covered are the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone of Finland. A public consultation of the draft maritime spatial plans is being held between 18 May and 17 June 2020.

Maritime spatial planning has been done for the past three years in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders. The broad cooperation has provided a lot of new information on the sea areas simply as information from different sources has been put together. In future, this information and cooperation can be utilised in regional development and for drafting more detailed plans for specific regions. The different business sectors and livelihoods can also use of the results produced.

In the planning process in Finland, good use has been made of the data and research information of the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU), which means that the solutions proposed give due consideration to the natural environments and their preservation.

Maritime spatial plans will be drawn up concerning all maritime EU states. In the other EU countries the state is responsible for the planning, but in Finland the involvement of the Regional Councils has proven a good option as it has enabled broad and diverse cooperation between administrative levels and different organisations and stakeholders. The maritime spatial plans are to be completed by the end of 2020.

Read more about the draft maritime spatial plans and planning process:

Inquiries:

Tiina Tihlman, Ministerial Adviser, tiina.tihlman@ym.fi, p. +358 295 250 296