Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Marine fisheries and aquaculture under MSP – approaches towards integration


Marine fish populations are a common natural resource for the Black sea countries. They have been the sector most affected by ecosystem changes in the past decades. This study analyses the biological status of marine fisheries and the associated legal framework, in order to develop a methodology to be used for Maritime Spatial Planning for the Black Sea.  

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

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How can maritime spatial planning support the management of transboundary marine fisheries resources?

Implementation Context:

This study was developed under the MARSPLAN – BS Project funded by the European Commission. The project had the overall aim of supporting the implementation of the EU Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Black Sea Basin in Romania and Bulgaria. It aimed to develop an assessment of marine fisheries and aquaculture in order to address how they may be integrated into the general MSP process.

Aspects / Objectives:

This case study seeks to give an in-depth overview of Romanian-Bulgarian marine aquaculture and fisheries to identify how fisheries can be integrated into Black Sea MSP.  

The case study paid particular attention to:

  • Identifying main problems and interrelation in the Black Sea fisheries, such as; decline of Black Sea natural resources, Lack of a regional fisheries management system, lack of annual fish stock assessments
  • Identifying the fisheries regulatory framework for each country
  • Identifying biological characteristics of Black Sea fisheries such as occurrence of productive areas, habitats relevant for recruitment and spawning of target fish
  • Identifying the current situation of Romania and Bulgaria marine fisheries and spatial demands
  • Assessing the suitability of spatial planning to regulate fisheries
  • Identifying combined methods of fisheries and maritime spatial planning for the Black Sea


This study reviewed biological data available on marine fisheries, sector dynamics such as vessel and gear types, management measures and legal framework relevant to the Black Sea.

Main Outputs / Results:

  • Integrated maps to visualize the spatial distribution of fisheries activities, stocks and main important variables related to the environment, specific tools and areas, as shown below:

  • Identification of threats for fisheries; overfishing, climate change, illegal and unregulated fisheries (IUU), lack of regional cooperation, stock assessment of marine fisheries and aquaculture
  • Roadmap for the development of an agreement to address IUU fishing by identifying actions relevant to the following aspects; (i) political and institutional, (ii) legal, (iii) scientific, (iv) technical, (v) socio-economic and education related and (vi) MCS


The case studies presented throughout this study can aid neighbouring Black Sea countries in the drafting of plans for the transboundary management of shared marine fisheries resources. 

Responsible Entity:

National Institute for Marine Research and Development

Costs / Funding Source:


Contact person:

Simion Nicolaev
National Institute for Marine Research and Development (rmri[at]alpha[dot]rmri[dot]ro)