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MSP EU Legend 5
This map was compiled from different international sources such as EMODnet, EEA or Marine Regions. Information obtained from these sources was cross-checked with data from national sources. While compilation was carried out by the European MSP Platform, validation and quality assurance remain the responsibility of the primary data sources.

Basic facts on Marine Waters

  • Portugal has one of the largest maritime areas in Europe.
  • According to Law No. 17/2014, related to maritime spatial planning and management, the national maritime space extends from the baseline (as defined by UNCLOS) to the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
  • Portugal submitted a claim to extend its jurisdiction over an additional 2.15 million square kilometers of the neighbouring continental shelf in May 2009, which would result in a total maritime area of more than 3,877,408 km². The claim is still under examination after Morocco’s response in July 2015.
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Maritime Spatial Plan(s) 

Status: Adopted

Portugal adopted its Maritime Spatial Plan, the Plano de Situacão do Ordenamento do Espaço Maritimo Nacional (PSOEM), corresponding to the subdivision of the mainland, the subdivision of Madeira and the subdivision of the Extended Continental Shelf in December 2019 by the Council of Ministers (Resolution No. 203-A/2019)

Portugal's Maritime Spatial Plan is available here

View the brochure presenting the Portuguese Maritime Spatial Plan (in English) 

The Geographical Information System (GIS) for the Portuguese Maritime Spatial Plan is available here

website has also been created containing all the updated information regarding Portuguese maritime spatial planning.

The PSOEM for the subdivision of the Azores (PSOEMA) is being developed by the Autonomous Region. The geoportal OEAM supports technical consultations and the subsequent implementation process.

MSP Legislation

The EU MSP Directive is transposed into national legislation through Law No. 17/2014 on ‘marine spatial planning and management‘, approved for the entire Portuguese maritime space, including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Its enabling legislation, Decree-Law No. 38/2015, entered into force on 12 March 2015, and develops the marine spatial planning and management law, defining, among others, the MSP instruments: 

  • i) the Situation Plan with the identification of the protection and preservation areas of the maritime space, and the temporal and spatial distribution of current and potential uses and activities; 
  • ii) the Allocation Plans for the private use of some areas or volume of the maritime area not considered in the situation plan.

National MSP authority

Portugal's Competent Authority for MSP is the Ministry of the Sea


Ministry of the Sea

Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM)

José Manuel Marques

(Head of Marine Environment and Sustainability Department) (jmarques[at]dgrm[dot]mm[dot]gov[dot]pt)

Directorate-General for Maritime Policy (DGPM)

Conceição Santos

(Deputy Director General for Maritime Policy) (conceicao[dot]santos[at]dgpm[dot]mm[dot]gov[dot]pt)

Vanda Dores

(Head of Strategy Department) (vanda[dot]dores[at]dgpm[dot]mm[dot]gov[dot]pt)

Autonomous Region of the Azores

Directorate-General for Sea Affairs

Pedro Neves

(Regional Director for Sea Affairs)

Autonomous Region of Madeira

Regional-Directorate for the Sea

Mafalda Freitas

(Regional Director for the Sea) (mafalda[dot]freitas[dot]araujo[at]madeira[dot]gov[dot]pt)  

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