Marine spatial plan

In and on our North Sea, a lot of activities take place in a rather limited space, such as green energy, nature conservation, shipping, fishing and sand extraction. A Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) is therefore necessary to reconcile these various (economic, ecological and social) interests and to provide every activity with an appropriate place in the North Sea.

Assigned by the Minister of the North Sea, the first marine spatial plan was drawn up by the Marine Environment Service for the period 2014-2020. Belgium was thus a pioneer in Europe and even in the world. The plan always covers a six year period. For the new cycle (2020-2026), it entered into force on 20 March 2020.

A summary brochure for the marine spatial plan

The brochure 'Something is moving at sea. The Marine Spatial Plan 2020-2026' gives an overview of the most important activities in our North Sea on the basis of specific maps. You can also test your knowledge with a short quiz.

Order the free brochure here. 

How did the marine spatial plan come about?

The MSP can have a major impact on the society. Therefor a close cooperation with all those involved is necessary. NGOs, businesses, government bodies, interest groups and citizens submitted their proposals and comments during two rounds of consultations. The sustainability aspect also received extra attention, for example through the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEA). After the contributions had been processed, the new MSP was signed by the King on 22 May 2019. 

More information on the public consultation can be found at


What is included in the marine spatial plan?

The marine spatial plan includes the following sections: