Marine spatial planning contributes to long-term sustainable development by providing guidance regarding how the sea should be used. The sea and its use are managed through various types of regulations and measures where marine spatial planning is one of several tools.
In Sweden, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is responsible for the marine spatial planning process and the preparation of plan proposals. The marine spatial plans are adopted by the Government.
Marine spatial planning is carried out in many countries. Countries with coasts within the EU must have marine spatial plans in place by 2021. There are also many international collaborations regarding marine spatial planning.