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Supporting the Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Atlantic Region

Funding Programme:

European Commission


Completion Year:

Contact Person(s):

Dominique Carval

Project Manager, Shom

Tel: +33 0 02 56 31 23 68 (dominique[dot]carval[at]shom[dot]fr)

Implementation Period:
Specific Funding Programme:

SIMNORAT was co-funded by the EC – DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) Call for Poposal EASME/EMFF/2015/


€1.800.000 and 80% of the budget was funded by the EU

About the Project:

SIMNORAT focused on two key objectives:

  • Supporting the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in EU Member States;
  • Launching and carry out concrete and cross-border MSP initiatives between Member States.

To address these objectives the activities undertaken focused on the following issues:

  • Initial assessment
  • Cooperation on MSP in Western Mediterranean
  • MSP process
  • Methodology for a transboundary MSP
  • Spatial demands and future trends
  • Data and information’s requirements for MSP.
  • Tools and methods supporting MSP.
  • Stakeholder’s engagement

poster introducing the project is available in English and in French. 

Project Results

The following outputs are available from the SIMNORAT project. A Signposting Document directs users and stakeholders towards appropriate SIMNORAT outputs and resources by providing summaries of the components and the main findings. 

Several of these outputs are described in detail in the Practices Database. These descriptions can be found using the links under Practices in the left menu. To consult the deliverables directly, click on the links:

Initial Assessment (D1)

Annex 1 to Initial Assessment: Marine Environment (D1)

Annex 2 to Initial Assessment: Pressures/Impacts (D1)

State-of-play of MSP directive implementation process - Focus on the role of the regions (D2)

Conceptual method: major steps (D3)

The definition and application of MSP by the OSPAR Convention (D4)

Coordination of sectorial policies (D5)

Land Sea Interactions and Relationships with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (D6)

Most appropriate geographical scale for MSP at national scale (D7)

Spatial demands and future trends for maritime sectors (D8)

Taking Marine Protected Areas into account in the context of Maritime Spatial Planning (D9)

Marine protected areas in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coasts - Database completion and analysis (D10)

Analysis of Data needs and existing gaps (D11)

Data Management Guidance Document (D12)

Interactions between uses, between uses and environment, including cumulative impacts. Review of evaluation methods carried out in France, Spain and Portugal (D13)

Potential approaches for stakeholder engagement on Marine Spatial Planning and outcomes of pilot testing (D14)

Stakeholder Perception on Maritime Spatial Planning (D15)

Bay of Biscay case study - Mapping exposure risk of marine megafauna to concomitant pressures (D16)

Case Study Cross Border MPA Galicia Bank – Vigo and Vasco da Gama Seamounts (D17)

The data portal set up during the project is available at

Project Events

A final conference was organised on 29-30 January 2019 in Brest (France). To consult the programme and the minutes please click here. On the first day, presentations introduced the Atlantic setting, informed about the national MSP implementation, gave an overview of the project results and shared the perspectives on MSP of other EU MSP projects. The activities and outcomes of the case studies were presented in a poster session (Bay of Biscay and North western marine waters of Iberian Coast case studies). On the second day, workshops were held on Ecosystem-based management, data needs and information on MSP as well as on Stakeholder engagement.

As part of the case study Spain-Portugal, a transboundary stakeholder workshop was organized in Vigo (Spain) on 27 November 2018 to consider the implementation of a cross-border Marine Protected Area (MPA) between Spain and Portugal. The report and further documents can be downloaded here.

A Stakeholder Conference was organised on 19 December 2017 and a report with the presentations is available online.

Project partners

SIMNORAT involved the following partners:

  • Aveiro University (PT);
  • CEDEX – Study and Experimentation Centre (ES);
  • CEREMA – Expertise Centre on Risks studies, Environment, Mobility and space planning (FR);
  • CPRM – Conference of Peripherical Maritime Regions;
  • IEO – Oceanographic Institute (ES);
  • FBA – French Biodiversity Agency (FR);
  • Shom – French Hydrographic Office (FR).