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Bulgarian and Romanian maritime areas detailed studies


Elaboration of an extensive analysis of the maritime areas of Bulgaria and Romania covering multiple facets of spatial planning, detailing the major challenges for the development of MSP and offer solutions.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Implementation context

The “Detailed studies of the Bulgarian and Romanian maritime areas” were developed in the frame of MARSPLAN-BS “Cross border maritime spatial planning in the Black Sea - Romanian and Bulgaria”. The overall goal of the project is to support the implementation of the maritime spatial planning EU directive.


The MARSPLAN-BS project included five pilot case areas:

  • Eforie area - Romania
  • Sfantul Gheorghe – Romania
  • Bourgas Port – Bulgaria
  • New ship routing system in territorial seas of Bulgaria and Romania
  • Aquaculture and fisheries

The Eforie study case follows the land-sea interactions with a special focus on coastal erosion within the Eforie Area, thus identifying the impact of induced coastal erosion by built environment/land infrastructures on maritime space/ICZM/tourism, and aims to find suitable solutions for harmonization of the tasks for environmental protection/biodiversity conservation of all surrounding lakes, wetlands and effective use of natural resources.

The Sfantu Gheorghe study case will provide new findings on the hydrological impact of the Danube river and sedimentology in an area included in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. One of the most interesting results will be on the island of Sacalin, situated at the mouth of the Sfantu Gheorghe branch of the Danube river.

Bourgas is one of the most important ports surrounding the Black Sea, with significant infrastructures for supporting economic activities. In the surroundings there are natural protected areas. The case study follows the land-sea interaction with a special focus on  biodiversity and the impact of the land infrastructures on the wetlands and maritime space.

The “Detailed study on the establishment of a new ship routing system in territorial seas of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Romania” takes into account the requirements of Directive 2002/59/EC establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system and repealing Council Directive 93/75/EEC. The study proposes the establishment of the territorial seas of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Romania.

The “Aquaculture and fisheries” case study focuses on the following issues:

  • Harmonization of methods and tools to assess the fish stocks by scientific survey
  • Awareness of the fishery organizations and decision-makers
  • Standardization at regional level and in conformity with the international practice of the methods and competitive and comparable data
  • Methods to help individuals, organizations and communities better understand the stressors and other climate and human factors that influence the productivity of the marine fishery
  • Improvement of management of the Black Sea fish stock exploitation based on agreed regional criteria
  • Facilitate the dimensioning of the fishing activity depending on the ecosystem's capacity of support


The studies emphasize the interactions, conflicts and impacts between stakeholders, uses, sectors and interests, both terrestrial and in the marine domain. Key stakeholders were identified and their involvement in the process of identifying the current and future trends was rendered to find several solutions for identified case area issues, together with specific recommendations and solutions for key issues and conflict resolution between uses and various activities in coastal and marine areas.

In the Eforie and Sfantu Gheorghe study cases the method 'SketchMatch' was used to identify and visualize potential development paths in order to facilitate the decision-making process for managers, policymakers and local stakeholders.

A SketchMatch works like a creative pressure cooker by bringing together a group of interested parties to work intensively on a common design. This is worked out with maps and 3-D G1S visualizations. The result of a SketchMatch is a spatial design, in the form of a ground plan, map, book, visual story, model, 3-D GIS visualization, or whatever form suits the project best. Various disciplines come together in a SketchMatch: layout, GIS, ecology, hydrology, hydraulics, socio-economy, spatial planning etc. The aim of a SketchMatch is to lay the basis for so-called ‘spatial development sketches' for integrated MSP in the Black Sea region.

Main outputs/Results

Results so far are:

  • Analyses on a key issue area, identifying current trends of economic and social development compared to the initial stages of development
  • Identify key issues of area and their impact on socio-economic and environmental aspects
  • Maps of land and sea human uses, natural values (both terrestrial and marine), land-sea interactions and conflicts
  • Main land-sea interactions and conflicts were identified (environmental protection, fisheries, coastal erosion, tourism impact, new building areas)
  • Networking of stakeholders and their involvement in MSP (stakeholders meeting)
  • The applying of SketchMatch interactive method, SWOT analyses


In order to practice effective marine management, planners need to understand the way the natural environment and human activities are interconnected to form a system. Key aspects of the system that were identified in study cases include the following themes:

  • Biological: type and extent of ecosystem, primary productivity, species diversity and abundance, nursery grounds and life cycles;
  • Physical: topography, geology, temperature, salinity, nutrients, tides, sea level and current, meteorology, sediment types and distribution, flooding and erosion/ accretion;
  • Socio-economic: human population distribution and growth, economic activities and land use;
  • Legal and Institutional: Land tenure system, resource use rights, relevant laws and regulations, responsible agencies and availability of financial and human resources


Each of these activities is greatly influenced by activities within and beyond the coastal zone. It is for this reason that the resolution of conflicts in the use of coastal and marine resources analyzed in the study cases required a broad perspective on the environmental process and interaction among human activities.


For study cases were prepared a detailed inventories of current demands for nature protection and human uses and future development needs. As a result of this inventory three different kind of areas could be identified:

  • Unrestricted use areas – priority for economic development (ports, shipping, industry)
  • Restricted use areas - priority for nature protection (Marine Protected Areas, Natura 2000 network)
  • Areas with coexist uses - spatially / seasonally differentiated use (tourism, fishing, aquaculture)

Contact person

Laura Alexandrov

National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” Constanta

Department of marine living resources, Ichthyology-Fishery resources

+40 241 543288

+40 729 831510

Responsible entity

  • Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Bucharest (RO) – Lead Partner
  • Ministry of Regional Development, Sofia (BG)
  • Ministry of Environment, Department of Water, Forests and Fisheries, Bucharest (RO)
  • National Institut for Marine Research and Development “G.Antipa”, Constanta (RO)
  • “Danube Delta” National Institut for Research and Development, Tulcea (RO)
  • National Institute for Research and Development in Construction, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development (RO)
  • “Ovidius” University of Constanta (RO)
  • Executive Agency Maritime Agency, Sofia (BG)
  • Bulgarian Ports Infrastructures Company, Sofia (BG)

Funding source

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund