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Sweden and Marine Spatial Planning

Sweden is developing three distinct marine spatial plans for its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

Baltic SCOPE – Collaboration in the Baltic Sea

Baltic SCOPE is a two-year project that focuses on achieving coherence between the marine spatial plans for the Baltic Sea. Our agency is the project’s lead partner.

Report on Current Status

Our report "Marine Spatial Planning – Current Status"PDF describes Sweden's marine resources and the demands on them, both now and in the future. This cross-sectoral perspective serves as a starting point for the first phase of national marine spatial planning.

Three Planning Areas in Sweden

Sweden will develop spatial plans for its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone in three areas, each of which are different from one another. Below, we summarize the most distinctive features of each.

Map showing Sweden's three MSP areas.

Sweden's waters are divided into three areas, each of which will receive its own marine spatial plan.

Gulf of Bothnia – Distinctive Features

  • low salt content affects occurrence of species
  • ice coverage affects shipping, weakens wave power; provides for winter tourism
  • land uplift affects species and biotopes; leads to loss of underwater cultural environments
  • small-scale fishing
  • long tradition of industry which provides high environmental toxin levels along the coast
  • shipping strongly connected to mining and forestry industries.

Baltic Sea – Distinctive Features

  • small proportion of protected areas
  • rising sea levels and erosion are problems in Skåne
  • great pressure on recreation and tourism in certain areas
  • pressurized fish population
  • intensive shipping that is expected to increase substantially
  • major risks of oil leaks.

Skagerrak and Kattegat – Distinctive Features

  • nearly oceanic conditions provide great variety of species, especially in the Skagerrak
  • great pressure on recreation and tourism
  • nearly half of Sweden's maritime employees are found here
  • leader in Sweden's fish processing and shellfish trade/farming
  • intensive shipping expected to grow substantially; home to Sweden's two largest ports
  • major risks for oil leaks that quickly reach land
  • marine waste a problem due to winds and currents.

    Authorities Involved in Sweden's MSP

    Our agency will develop the plans together with county administrative boards and coastal municipalities, along with influence from environmental NGOs and the public.

    We've assembled a list of authorities involved in Sweden's MSP.

    MSP and Environmental Objectives

    Marine spatial planning is an essential tool for achieving Sweden's environmental quality objectives.

    MSP in Swedish Law

    Provisions for marine spatial planning came into Swedish law in
    2014. Our agency, along with county administrative boards and other
    stakeholders, prepared the legislation's introduction.

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    Published: 2014-02-11
    Updated: 2015-05-12

    Contact Page Editor Katherine Singer