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MSP EU Legend 3

Basic facts on Marine Waters

  • The Irish maritime area extends over 490,000km2 (approx. 7 times its terrestrial landmass) and comprise parts of the Irish and Celtic Seas as well as the Atlantic Ocean where Ireland has defined its EEZ and certain areas of the Continental Shelf.
  • In 2006, Ireland submitted information on the limits of the continental shelf claimed by Ireland and three other coastal States in the area of the Celtic Sea and the Bay of Biscay. In 2010, an extension of the continental shelf was granted. Negotiations to share this area between the four coastal States are still in progress.
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Maritime Spatial Plan(s)

Status: Adopted

Ireland adopted its Maritime Spatial Plan, the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) in June 2021. The NMPF is the overarching framework for decision-making that is consistent, evidence-based and secures a sustainable future for the marine area.

Ireland's Maritime Spatial Plan is available here

A web map portal was also launched to link planning within the Maritime area to the relevant policies for each marine sector or activity listed in the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). The site has 4 main sections: Activities Map, Activities, Policies Map and MSP Hub. This last section hosts the MSP newsletter which is published on quarterly basis.

Access the web map portal

Access the MSP Newsletter

MSP Legislation

The EU MSP Directive is transposed into national legislation by way of regulations made in 2016 (SI 352 of 2016). Since the regulations were made under the European Communities Act 1972, they were strictly limited to measures required to transpose the Directive. In October 2018, the regulations were repealed and replaced by Part 5 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018. 

National MSP Authority

Ireland’s competent authority for MSP is the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) 


Marine Planning Policy and Development Section

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH)

Newtown Road

Wexford Y35 AP90

For more information: