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Economic valorization of Polish sea space related to fishery

The draft Maritime Spatial Plan fo Polish Sea Areas, scale 1:200.000


For the drafted Polish MSP it was analysed which areas of the sea territory are important for the fisheries sector. The study was based on fisheries data such as costs, revenues, and fixed and variable costs to assess the productivity of the area. 

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

Which areas of the Polish sea territory are important for the fisheries sector? 

Implementation Context

The results of the study will flow into the final national MSP in Poland. It is planned to have four drafted versions until implementaton of the MSP in October 2019. The study supports this procedure by providing relevant data and knowledge about socio-economic and spatial aspects of the planning. The methodology is quite new and has not been applied in other maritime spatial plans so far.  

Aspects / Objectives

The aim of the study was to valorise fisheries to identify the most important areas for this sector within Poland, currently developing an MSP Plan. In January 2018 the environmental assessment will be backed by a coastal fishery assessment. The first version of the MSP Plan is expected in April 2018.


The study is containing a survey. 70% of fishermen have been interviewed to localise where they use passive gear types. The methodology followed these steps:

  • Development of a methodology to define value of a marine space for a specific sector
  • Identification of sources of information
  • Calculations
  • Analyses and modelling of thresholds
  • Binary scoring of the importance of the fishery function
  • Mapping of the fishery function

The study was based on fisheries data such as costs, revenues, and fixed and variable costs to assess the productivity of the area. All data available for the 10% marine territory of Poland have been used and all assumptions are related to the whole area, based on smaller fishery segments. In addition, Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data measured in the unit ‘one kilometre of sea square’ like operational data of the fleet, recorded catches and efforts have been the basis for assessing efforts intensity in an area. 

Main Outputs / Results

Specific outputs of the calculation are the costs of fishing intensity in the sea square and the spatial distribution of variable cost intensity of the Polish fishery, the productivity of the sea areas and the spatial distribution of this productivity. Also a synthesis has been drawn:

  • To valuate intensity and productivity approaches and
  • To map the results including the routes of the fleet, see map


In a next step, the main other uses of the areas like nature protection, transport and renewable energy will be correlated to follow a multifunctional approach and to show overlapping issues.

Some lessons learned when applying the methodology are:

  • The method is applicable to valorise marine space for a given sector. Measuring the value of a fish stock is however difficult regarding the accuracy of results.
  • The method can be extended to other sectors to benefit the MSP processes.
  • Further development of the method could highlight the relationship between important maritime space areas for a specific sector and the economic value (jobs, property) on land.
  • The “co-use” of space important for the fisheries sector has to be taken into account as well.
  • VMS data could gain a stronger role for MSP.
  • The method has to take into account the benefits of land-sea interactions related to fisheries. A combination with methods assessing benefits of economic sectors on terrestrial side could show the valorisation on land and at sea and to understand the interrelations.


The method itself is transferable to all other sea regions, depending on the availability of data.

The main difficulty when adapting the method was with the thresholds. After the calculation it had to be defined whether specific areas were important or not. Also, a better precision of the sea squares to valorise fisheries would have provided more precise results.

One shortcoming may be the missing ecosystem approach in the analysis. Also the dependency of fishery on factors like port proximity or water quality is difficult to track. The difference between intensity of fisheries and productivity is also an aspect, which could be outlined in more detail within the analysis.

Responsible Entity

National Marine Fisheries Research Institute

ul. Kołłątaja 1

81-332 Gdynia, Poland

Ph.: +48 58 73-56-232

Fax: +48 58 73-56-110

Costs / Funding Source

not known

Contact person

Adam Mytlewski

National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland (amytlewski[at]mir[dot]gdynia[dot]pl)