Spatial demands and future trends for maritime sectors


The direct expression of the spatial demand by the representatives of the maritime sector activity constitutes the originality of this study. This expression reflects the concrete vision, specific to each sector, of its evolution as well as its expectations towards the MSP. The purpose of this study is not to define and study several prospective development scenarios or to map sectoral trends, but rather to explore the factors influencing its development (policies, interactions, context,etc.) and to characterize positioning strategy with respect to the MSP. This document identifies the common variables likely to constitute a priori factors influencing the expression of the spatial demand.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Offshore renewable energy production
Oil and gas exploitation
Submarine cables and pipelines
Type of Issue: 
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Habitats and Birds Directive
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer

  • Why should we focus on the spatial demand in MSP and how to characterise it?
  • What are the different trends and spatial demands of several maritime sectors?

Implementation Context

This paper has been developed under the SIMNORAT project.


The construction of a common reading grid for all the Member States covered by this analysis was an essential step in this work. This exercise identifies the common variables likely to constitute a priori factors influencing the expression of the spatial demand. A common analysis grid of the expression of space demand has therefore been developed for the following 8 maritime sectors:

• Aquaculture

• Fisheries

• Cables and Pipelines

• Offshore Wind Energy

• Ports and Shipping

• Yachting

• Oil and Gas

• Marine renewable energy

This grid is initially generalist, because it must be adaptable to all sectors studied. This grid must also be able to take into account the different contexts and management structures of each of the Member States concerned by this study and must therefore remain sufficiently "flexible" to be impregnated with the particularities of each case. The framework of analysis shared by the three Member States takes into account the different concepts previously defined in the report. It is therefore a question of (qualitatively) apprehending the spatial demand expressed by the stakeholders of each sector, but also of characterizing this spatial demand. This characterization requires an analysis of the capacities of the sectors to organize themselves and to express their demands and by a contextualization reflecting on current and future trends that may explain certain positions.

In the analysis grid created for this study, three rubrics must make it possible to bring contextual elements and to account for the spatial demand expressed by the representatives of each sector:

-Structure of the sector and channels of expression to claim "spatial demand",

-Analysis of the sector in its environment: interactions with other activities and marine conservation,

-Characterization of spatial and prospective demand around future trends.

Main Outputs / Results

With regard to the elements analyzed and the results achieved, the study has identified five main trends in spatial ‘s demand strategies :

1) Defense strategy for « Historically used » space: This strategy mainly concerns the fishing and yachting sector and is explained by the historic use right of the maritime area associated with these sectors of activity.

2) Spatial expansion strategy: This strategy mainly concerns the marine renewable energy sector and applies in particular to the northern area of the OSPAR IV Marine Region.

3) Strategy for maintaining authorized areas: This strategy mainly concerns the fields of shellfish farming and marine aggregates extraction.

4) Activities whose spatial influence is not influenced by the MSP: This strategy concerns the areas of maritime transport and submarine cables

5) Activities in decline due to the decarbonation of European countries: This strategy concerns the exploitation of submarine hydrocarbons.


This methodology could be applied to other sea basins. The results of this study are however specific to this sea basin.

Responsible Entity


Costs / Funding Source

SIMNORAT was co-funded by the EC – DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)

Contact person

Julien Dilasser