WIT Press

Marine Spatial Planning As A Tool For Promoting Sustainable Economic Development Including Tourism And Recreation In A Coastal Area: An Example From Pärnu Bay, NE Baltic Sea


Free (open access)





Page Range

393 - 404




545 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. Martin, J. Kotta, R. Aps, M. Kopti, K. Martin, L. Remmelgas, M. Kuris


The Baltic Sea is a dynamic economic region where the competition between various uses of the sea (e.g. recreation and tourism, shipping, fishing, wind farms, extraction of mineral resources) is constantly increasing due to the limited marine area. In addition, the sensitive ecosystem of the Baltic Sea and the potential strong impact of climate changes call for an approach that would also ensure the sustainable development of the coastal marine areas in the future. The main objective of spatial planning of marine areas is to balance various interests. Well-advised spatial planning of marine areas enables to create useful synergies in addition to avoiding conflicts and thereby serve as basis for sustainable development of marine areas by taking into account the characteristics of single marine areas or sub-areas. Marine spatial planning is a practical way to make the use of marine areas more rational, to balance the conflict between social, economic activities and the protection of the ecosystem of the sea and to put social and economic objectives into practice in an open and planned manner. An important result of maritime planning is avoidance/minimisation of conflicts between the activities carried out and planned at sea as well as conflicts between the use of the sea and nature. In the current study, we demonstrate how maritime spatial planning enables to balance interests of different economic sectors together with nature conservation in a limited coastal area with high recreational potential in the NE Baltic Sea. Tools and methods developed within the pilot project in the Pärnu Bay area give a good basis for wider implementation of MSP in the Baltic Sea area and provide a good example of possibilities of sustainable development of main economic sectors balanced with environmental issues in the coastal areas.


Marine Spatial Planning, sustainable coastal development