NOTICE 18 Dec 2020 (MRL 67 d § inform about the approved maritime spatial plan)

Maritime spatial plan 2030 for Finland has been approved

The Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 covering Finland’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone is complete. The administrative authorities of coastal regional councils approved the plan between November and December 2020. The councils of coastal regions have prepared the maritime spatial plan in three different parts:

  • Gulf of Finland: Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and Regional Council of Kymenlaakso
  • Archipelago Sea and southern Bothnian Sea: Regional Council of Southwest Finland and Regional Council of Satakunta
  • Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay: Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia, Council of Oulu Region and Regional Council of Lapland

For the first time, a maritime spatial plan has been prepared for the Finnish marine area, compiled in an extensive cooperation process between various actors. The plan is a presentation with a map covering both territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone. It outlines, for example, significant and potential areas for underwater natural values and cultural values, energy production, fishing, aquaculture, shipping and tourism. The aim is to reconcile the needs of different sectors and thus to enhance the management of maritime industries and the state of the marine environment.

The Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 for Finland is in a digital form on the internet at

The strategic Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 provides information to serve in the background of more detailed regional plans, such as regional land use plans, and to support regional development work and permit procedures. The information can also be utilised by different sectors. The Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 is not included in the system of land use planning and has no legal effect. The plan is updated at least every ten years.

Maritime spatial plans are drawn up in each EU Member State located by the sea. The aim of the Baltic Sea countries is that the plans can also coordinate projects and activities across maritime boundaries, secure ecological connections and improve the state of the marine environment.

Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay
The area is characterised by a coastline with post-glacial rebound, large rivers with inhabited estuaries, a partly shallow sea area and ice-covered winter conditions. The Bothnian Bay National Park and the Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will continue to attract the development of tourism and recreation.

The multisectoral industry based on shipping will continue to play a key role. Most coastal areas and the Kvarken Archipelago are important fishing areas. The Bothnian Bay is home to migratory fish in the Baltic Sea, and aquaculture areas are being developed with marine nature in mind.

The Vaasa-Umeå link creates the preconditions for developing activities in the Kvarken area. The Northern Bothnian Sea and the Bothnian Bay have potential areas for offshore wind power plants.

Archipelago Sea and Southern Bothnian Sea
The location of the Bothnian Sea in the transitional zone between southern and northern species, the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Site and the coastal rivers and estuaries form a unique entity, the preservation of which is supported by the Bothnian Sea and Archipelago Sea National Parks. The diverse cultural heritage and natural values are the attractions of the area.

The region is home to an internationally competitive concentration of ports and high-tech maritime industries. In the future, all industrial activities will focus on solutions that improve the state of the marine environment. The aim is to develop renewable energy production and, in particular, to increase offshore wind power. Fishing in the southern part of the Bothnian Sea and aquaculture based on new technology in the Archipelago Sea are viable livelihoods.

Gulf of Finland
In the Gulf of Finland, maritime activities are integrated while also fostering the good state of the marine environment. The marine area is heavily trafficked and has major international ports, which generate growth.

Cities by the sea are a gateway for tourists to the archipelago, whose unique atmosphere also attracts new residents and actors. Sustainable recreation and tourism services are developed on the terms of local residents, nature and cultural values. Research cooperation linked with marine areas creates blue growth, i.e. innovation, product development and new jobs.


More information

Maritime Spatial Plan 2030

Maritime Spatial Planning process

Heikki Saarento, Chair of the Finnish MSP Cooperation Group, Planning Director Regional Council of Southwest Finland,, p. 040 720 3056

Mari Pohja-Mykrä, Coordinator of the Finnish MSP Cooperation,, p. 044 711 4320

Tiina Tihlman, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment,, p. 0295 250 296

For the contact details of regional contact persons, see the press releases of the regional councils below:

  • Council of Oulu Region Link
  • Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council Link
  • Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia Link
  • Regional Council of Kymenlaakso Link
  • Regional Council of Lapland Link
  • Regional Council of Ostrobothnia Link
  • Regional Council of Satakunta Link
  • Regional Council of Southwest Finland Link