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Stakeholder Profiles


This report was the result of stakeholder analysis conducted to gain a better understanding of the various actors relevant in the context of multi-use combinations examined in the MUSES project. The analysis took into consideration different geographical and governance scales, and focused on identifying actors behind the drivers and barriers for the multi-use development. Stakeholder profiles were developed for each of the multi-use combinations, and visualized through Venn diagrams, providing a clear overview of relevant actors on different geographical scales, for each of the examined combinations.  The preparation of this report was an essential step in the development of the Ocean Multi-Use Action Plan, which targets the suitable type of stakeholders with the right type of action, taking into account national, regional and sea basin dimensions. 

Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:


Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What methods and criteria can be used to analyse stakeholders?
  • How can stakeholder analysis results advise the development of stakeholder engagement strategy?
  • Who are relevant stakeholders in the context of ocean multi-use?

Implementation Context:

This document is of direct practical use to planners aiming to better understand and to engage multi-use relevant stakeholders in their planning processes. The document can provide better understanding about which actors might be in favour or against such development and which actors might be relevant in general, regardless their attitude towards multi-use development. The document also details the methodology used to characterise stakeholders including their power, the way they are organized, their activity in the field of multi-use, and overall attitude towards multi-use. As such, document can be of use for future such stakeholder analysis initiatives. 

More specifically, the insights from this report may serve the needs of several target groups: 

  • policy makers – to support with the selection of whom to consult with when developing relevant multi-use related policies; 
  • future multi-use project initiators – to foster recognition on whom to make partnerships with and with whom to consult or engage with further; 
  • funding bodies - to broaden understanding of suitable groups to be targeted with their funding programmes; 
  • maritime spatial planners and regulators - to identify relevant actors to engage with when developing or revising plans and/or multi-use relevant legislation and guidance; 
  • national, regional and local administration – to increase institutional capacity when dealing with innovative initiatives which require formal administrative intervention.

The visuals produced for this report were meant to serve as a teaser communication tool for use with stakeholders during the Action Plan engagement process. The report itself was used to increase the level of engagement and to motivate further discussion with stakeholders. 

The information collected about stakeholders allowed project partners to make an effective stakeholder engagement strategy and informed decisions on whom to engage for the Action Plan development process. 

Aspects / Objectives:

The stakeholder analysis for Stakeholder Profiles report was conducted with an aim to better understand the stakeholder arena in the context of multi-use in European seas. The report and the information collected were to advise an effective stakeholder engagement strategy and ensure informed decisions about whom to engage for the Action Plan development process. Thus, the preparation of this report was an essential step in the development of the Ocean Multi-Use Action Plan.


An iterative process was used to compile the stakeholder lists and formulate typologies. Stakeholder analysis was conducted in parallel with multi-use barrier/driver identification and evaluation. As new information was gained (purposefully or opportunistically), stakeholder information was updated and revised, with an intention to deepen the analysis. 

The MUSES project took a participatory approach to stakeholder analysis. Thus, stakeholders had an active role in the analysis, providing the information about their values, aspirations and interests, as well as practical details about how they can/want to support multi-use. 

Seven stakeholder themes with their possible sub themes have been identified that refer to all the relevant sectors involved in the multi-use combinations explored in this project. An eighth theme is also provided for ‘Cross sector’, which refers to stakeholders that do not fall under any specific maritime sector. 

  1. Aquaculture: fish, and/or mussels, and/or seaweed; 
  2. Fishing: all types 
  3. Energy: wind, and/or wave, and/or conventional sources; 
  4. Tourism: diving, and/or boat tours to offshore wind or aquaculture sites, and/or recreational fishing tours; 
  5. Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH): always refers to organisation engaged with formal protection of the ship wrecks and other cultural artefacts (e.g. authority), and/or informal organisation dealing with the maintenance/preservation of the site (local organisation of enthusiasts cleaning/maintaining the site and raising awareness about the site); 
  6. Environmental Protection: Marine Protected Area (MPA), and/or research station, and/or other; 
  7. Transport: shipping, and/or ports;
  8. Cross sector: stakeholders such as cross-sectoral maritime authorities, and/or maritime intermediaries (i.e. councils or clusters) that do not fall under any specific maritime sector. 

General stakeholder categories, that partially reflect some broader societal structures, have also been defined:

  1. Commercial Business 
  2. Business support – consultancies
  3. Research organisations 
  4. Regulators
  5. Policy makers 
  6. Classification societies 
  7. Insurance companies 
  8. Funding bodies
  9. Intermediaries
  10. NGOs and other intermediaries representing society at large

The elaboration of the following six attributes was provided for all combinations of the above listed themes and categories on the national level:

  • Overall activity of stakeholders in relation to MU development; 
  • Overall attitude towards MU; 
  • Geographical scale at which certain stakeholder has the power; 
  • Type and level of power; 
  • Organisation of stakeholders (i.e. clustered, dispersed, monopoly, etc.); 
  • Stakeholder network analysis. 


Venn diagram stakeholder engagement strategy


Stakeholder Network Analysis

The master list of 629 stakeholders was than revised using the colour code to differentiate between different attribute values, and assign the appropriate method/mode of engagement to each stakeholder. 


Stakeholder engagement strategy

Main Outputs / Results:

Stakeholder Profiles report in PDF format


The analysis was conducted for all 23 coastal Member States. The methodology used has the geographical and thematic transferability. 

Responsible Entity: 

Marine Scotland

Costs / Funding Source:

Horizon 2020 

Contact person:

Bruce Buchannan 

Marine Scotland

Email: (bruce[dot]buchanan[at]gov[dot]scot)