The potential of establishing multi-use of fisheries-tourism-environmental protection in the marine space: stakeholders ‘perceptions in Greece

27th APDR Congress (p.343)


The increasing demand for marine space and the need for “spatial efficiency” in the sea inevitably leads to the consideration of multi-use (MU), at least between uses that present reasonable compatibility. Thus, multi-use in the marine space have been explored by several projects, including those that investigate the opportunities of MU in European Seas to guarantee innovation and a Blue Growth perspective, within the framework of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). Soft MU combinations refer to “co-location” or “co-existence” of uses when an existing infrastructure is used without major modifications, while hard MU combinations refer to infrastructural integration of fixed structures (e.g. MU platforms). In this presentation, the soft MU involving small-scale fisheries, tourism and environmental protection, typical in the Mediterranean, is being further examined in Greece. Aiming to highlight the importance of the above MU as a socioeconomic instrument while promoting and preserving the environment, real and mainly perceived barriers, incentives and priority lines for further development have been identified. To this end, the MU was studied following the indicated methodology developed within the MUSES project analytical framework that includes a scoring system distinguishing factors that refer to drivers, added values, barriers, and impacts (DABI). Semi-structured interviews with key national stakeholders from different action arenas were conducted in order to create a list of factors linked to the MU under study. Outcomes revealed that for the potential development of the MU under study the main drivers are economic (e.g. income and job creation for local economies), social (e.g. awareness, education) and environmental (discovery, recovery and conservation). Barriers result from legal provisions (e.g. legal barriers for fishing tourism), administrative burdens (bureaucracy, lack of horizontal and vertical governance integration), social(lack of collective agreement and action) and economic conditions (lack of funds, etc.). Nevertheless, the development of the above MU needs an integrated policy approach in combination with FLAGs and tourism business involvement. The study concludes that there is a strong and imminent potential for the development of the above MU and this is attributed both to the small-scale fishing tradition in the country combined with high tourism demand (despite the recent impact of COVID-19 ) that extending also to alternative forms becomes more and more ecofriendly. Under certain conditions of an efficient assemblage between the three uses (tourism-SSF-MPAs), the said MU can constitute an alternative option for a more efficient and sustainable use of marine space supporting the Blue Growth agenda, especially through FLAGs and other co-management schemes.

Sea Basin(s): 
September 2020
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Nature protection
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What are the differences between soft and hard multi-use?
  • How can multi-use contribute to local development?
  • What are the outputs of multi-use implementation in fisheries, tourism and environmental protection?

Implementation Context:

This paper was drafted in the framework of the 27th APDR (Associação Portuguesa para o Desenvolvimento Regional) Congress held in the Azores in September 2020 with the umbrella theme "Sustainable Management of the Sea for Sustainable Regional Development”.

Aspects / Objectives:

This document is the report of an intervention made during the APDR congress about soft multi-Use implementation potentials in Greece. 


This article is based on the author's previous research on soft multi-use combining tourism, fisheries, and nature protection in Greece.

Main Outputs / Results:

This article provides an overview of soft multi-use catalysts, barriers and challenges in Greece regarding the combination of fisheries, tourism and nature protection.  


This practice focuses on a Greek case study. Nevertheless, the results presented here on MU potentials in Greece could inspire similar assessments elsewhere.  

Responsible Entity:

Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Department of Economic and Regional development, Athens, Greece

Contact person:

Stella Sofia Kyvelou:

Dimitrios G. Ierapetritis: