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Supporting multi-use of the sea with maritime spatial planning. The case of a multi-use opportunity development - Bulgaria, Black Sea

Marine Policy - Volume 136


With expanding human uses of sea space, the role of marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP) in supporting their sustainable co-existence and synergies, while preserving marine ecosystems, becomes an increasingly challenging task. To address the sustainable exploitation of sea resources, and the optimal use of sea space, the concept of Multi-Use (MU) has been introduced. Despite international examples of successfully applied multi-uses, this concept is still new for Bulgaria, its decision-makers, spatial planners and stakeholders. While competing needs for sea space can result in conflicts, they may also lead to mutual benefits for different sectors, when sustainable combinations are properly foreseen in MSP. This paper is aimed at investigating the opportunity for development of one multi-use combination involving Tourism, Underwater Cultural Heritage & Environmental Protection in Bulgaria. Based on desk research and active stakeholder engagement, the study identifies the main drivers and barriers of multi-use, the expected benefits (added values) of its implementation, and its potential negative impacts. Furthermore, recommendations are proposed to overcome the identified barriers and impacts with the support of MSP and to further exploit multi-use potential at the local, regional (subnational), national and cross-border levels.

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

Contact person:

Margarita Stancheva (stancheva[at]ccms[dot]bg)