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MUSES Multi-Use Case Studies


As part of the MUSES “Multi-Use in European Seas” project, 10 case study areas in the Atlantic, North, Baltic and Mediterranean Sea were identified to assess potential synergies and challenges for sixteen most promising multi-uses (MU) combinations at the local or sub-national scale. The case studies analysed different thematic and geographic contexts through desktop study and local stakeholders’ engagement to identify barriers, opportunities, limitations and needs for MU implementation. The case studies also identified recommendations based on the experience of local stakeholders for advancing each of the MU that were analysed, including MSP-related ones.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
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Questions this practice may help answer

  • What examples of promising MU combinations at the local and sub-national level?
  • What are the drivers, barriers, added value and negative impacts of MU combinations?
  • How MU potential is affected by local social, economic and environmental characteristics?
  • What recommendations can be proposed to advance the MU implementation based on local experiences and context?

Implementation Context

MUSES is a Horizon 2020 funded project that explored the opportunities for Multi-Use in European Seas across five EU sea basins (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Eastern Atlantic). Beyond approaching the sea-basin scale, MUSES also included 10 case studies providing MU examples and analysing related challenges (in terms of barriers and impacts) and opportunities (in terms of drivers and added-values). The output of MUSES case studies can support the implementation of the MSP Directive which invites all EU Member States to consider opportunities for co-location of maritime activities when preparing their maritime spatial plans.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Main objectives of the MUSES case studies were:
  • Detailed analysis of MU combinations relevant for site specific-locations
  • Identification of drivers, added values, barriers and impacts of analyzed MU combinations
  • Detailed evaluation of MU potential and overall effect
  • Identification of actions to promote MU, suggested by local stakeholder arenas.


Case studies were developed through desk research (policy papers, legislative documents, publications, etc.) and stakeholder engagement (interviews, workshops, focus group). These two methods were applied across the entire process, which considered five steps:

Step 1: MU overview & identification of potentials.

Step 2: Identification of DABI factors
(Drivers, Added Values, Barriers, and Impacts) for each analyzed MU combination. The DABI factors were identified through desk research and interviews, and then grouped in categories (policies, administrative/legal aspects, environmental and socio-economic constrains, technical capacity, etc.). A total of 25 DABI catalogues were compiled across 10 case studies.

Step 3: Analysis of MU potential.
MU Potential is defined as the degree of opportunity the study area has to develop or strengthen the identified MU combination(s) based on scoring by stakeholders. The relative balance between drivers and barriers identifies the potential for MU development. Involved stakeholders attributed a score to each factor of the DABI catalogue. Scores were given as follows: between 0 and + 3 in the case of Drivers; between 0 and -3 in the case of Barriers. MU Potential is evaluated by averaging the average Drivers’ score and the average Barriers' score.

Step 4: Evaluation of overall MU effect.
MU Effect is defined as the overall result of implementing MU in the area. In this step added value (positive effects) and impacts (negative effects) in the DABI catalogue were scored by stakeholders. The relative balance between added value and impacts identifies the overall MU net effect in the study area. Involved stakeholders attributed a score to each factor of the DABI catalogue. Scores were given as follows: between 0 and +3 in the case of Added values; between 0 and -3 in the case of Impacts. MU Effect is evaluated by averaging the average Added values’ score and the average Impacts’ score.

Step 5: Analysis of Focus Areas.
Case studies were further evaluated according to common conceptual categories, defined as "Focus Areas". The following three Focus Areas were considered: (a) Focus Area 1 "Addressing MU", (b) Focus Area 2 "Boosting Blue Maritime Economy", (c) Focus Area 3 "Improving Environmental Compatibility”. The Analysis of Focus Areas was implemented by providing answers to a set of Key Evaluation Questions (KEQs) common to all case studies. Draft answers were prepared on the basis of desk analysis and were then reviewed by stakeholders.

Information collected across MUSES case studies (source: Martina Bocci, Chiara Castellani, Emiliano Ramieri et al. (2018). Case study comparative analysis. MUSES project. Edinburgh)

Main Outputs / Results

Case Study areas and Reports

The ten cases (see their locations below) and links to case study reports are below included:

Case study 1A - Multi-use space between commercial fisheries and offshore wind farms in Scotland (East Coast of Scotland - North Sea)

Case study 1B - Tidal energy development and environmental protection and monitoring (North Coast of Scotland - Inner sound of the Pentland Firth - North Sea)

Case study 1C - Multi-use of off-shore wind farms with marine aquaculture and fisheries (German North Sea EEZ - North Sea)

Case study 2 - Marine Renewables & Aquaculture Multi-use including the use of marine renewable energy near the point of generation (West Coast of Scotland - Northern Atlantic Sea)

Case study 3A - Development of tourism and fishing in the Southern Atlantic Sea (South Coast of mainland Portugal - Algarve region - Atlantic Sea)

Case study 3B - Development of tourism and fishing in the Southern Atlantic Sea (Azores archipelago – Eastern Atlantic Sea)

Case study 4 - Multi-Use for local development focused on energy production, tourism and environment in Swedish waters (Island of Gotland - Baltic Sea)

Case study 5 - Offshore wind and mariculture: potentials for multi-use and nutrient remediation in Rødsand 2 (South Coast of Lolland-Falster - Denmark - Baltic Sea)

Case study 6 - Coastal & Maritime Tourism and O & G Decommissioning as drivers for potential Multi-use in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy - Mediterranean Sea)

Case Study 7 - Marine Renewable Energy Sources & Desalination, Fishing & Tourism in the South Aegean: the case of Mykonos Island (Greece - Mediterranean Sea)

Moreover, a report on case study comparative analysis was produced:


Geographical location of MUSES case studies (source: Martina Bocci, Chiara Castellani, Emiliano Ramieri et al. (2018). Case study comparative analysis. MUSES project. Edinburgh)

MU Combinations analysed

The 16 MU combinations identified and analysed across the cases include:

  • Offshore Wind energy & Fisheries
  • Offshore Wind energy & Aquaculture
  • Offshore Wind energy & Tourism
  • Offshore Wind energy & Environmental Protection & Tourism
  • Offshore Wave energy & Aquaculture
  • Offshore Tidal energy & Environmental protection
  • Offshore Tidal energy & Environmental monitoring
  • Tourism & Fisheries
  • Tourism & Aquaculture  
  • Tourism & Environmental Protection
  • Tourism & UCH           
  • Tourism & UCH & Environmental Protection
  • Oil&Gas Decommissioning & Tourism & Aquaculture
  • Oil&Gas Decommissioning & Renewable energy
  • Renewable energy & Desalinization
  • Shipping terminal & Renewable energy

Drivers, Added Value, Barriers and Negative Impacts (DABIs) of MU

DABI factors are specific for MU combination and case study location. At the general level some common the key drivers and barriers to MU as well as expected added values (benefits) have been identified based on the contribution provided by local stakeholders engaged in each case study area.

Main drivers of MU:

  • Existing strategies and legislation for MU
  • Existing funds and mechanisms (e.g. EMFF, FLAGs)
  • Increasing demand for sustainable tourism, green energy, high quality food products
  • Natural, historical, cultural asset of the coast and the sea
  • Need for an increase in marine ecosystem conservation

Main barrier to MU:

  • Lack of national frameworks for MU, lack of harmonization in regulations and procedures, severe regulations, long and risky licensing procedures
  • Lack of adequate incentives/funding of pilot and scaled up projects
  • Lack of adequate skills, sector fragmentation, lack of dialogue between the stakeholders, lack of awareness on MU benefits of society at large

Main expected added values of MU:

  • help in achieving environmental protection objectives
  • satisfy the need for innovative tourism offers and for green energy supply
  • help in solving spatial conflicts, exploit synergies between uses in different times (e.g. decommissioning)

Actions to advance MU

Case studies enabled to identified more than 90 recommended actions to advance MU concept and implement MU solutions in the studied local areas. These were grouped in the following categories: (1) Policies, strategies, planning (directly referring to MSP); (2) Legal framework and administrative issues; (3) Funding; (4) Research and data production; (5) Technical improvements and innovations; (6) Pilot projects; (7) Networks and clusters; (8) Dialogue and cooperation; (9) Education and training; (10) Communication and social awareness. Identified actions informed the MUSES Ocean Multi-Use Action Plan.


The analytical framework and methodology used in MUSES case studies can be applied in other marine areas. The methodology can also support the MSP process in the identification MU combinations that can be promoted through MSP Plans. However, it is important to carefully consider local conditions and factors when deciding on its use in selecting which multi-use combination can be considered during the MSP process. The wide set of recommended actions are aimed to concretely advance MU implementation in the study location. Among these, the role of MSP in promoting a shift from sectoral approach to MU opportunities is highlighted.

Responsible Entity

MUSES Project partners (Case Study Lead: Thetis)

Costs / Funding Source

The practice was elaborated under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme at a total cost of €1,987,604


Lead of MUSES case studies

Emiliano Ramieri


E-Mail: (emiliano[dot]ramieri[at]thetis[dot]it)


Coordinator of MUSES project

Bruce Buchanan

Marine Scotland

E-mail: (ms[dot]musesproject[at]gov[dot]scot)