Overview of MSP related maritime uses

The National Ocean Strategy 2013-2020, according to its action plan, refers to the following maritime activities:

  • Natural Living Resources:

    • Fisheries
    • Aquaculture
  • Natural Non Living Resources:
    • Mineral extraction
    • Offshore renewable energy production
  • Infrastructures, uses and activities:
    • Ports
    • Tourism
    • Shipping
  • Other current uses: marine biotechnology, coastal defense

The action plan also focuses on activities related to knowledge of the ocean and the atmosphere and scientific research in different domains and to some administrative and governance aspects.

The national MSP framework establishes also the regime for private use of the maritime space of the following uses and activities:

  • Aquaculture
  • Marine biotechnology
  • Mineral extraction
  • Offshore energy
  • Infrastrutures
  • Scientific research
  • Tourism
  • Under water cultural heritage

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Pilot plans for MSP exist. Please see the database for more detailed information.

MSP legislation

In April 2014, Law No. 17/2014 on ‘marine spatial planning and management’ (LBOGEM) was approved as the fundamental law for MSP for all the Portuguese maritime space, including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Its enabling legislation, Decree-Law No. 38/2015, entered into force on 12 March 2015, and develops the marine spatial planning and management fundamental law, defining, among others, the regime of maritime spatial planning instruments and the private use of maritime space regime.  This is seen as a framework of the Planning and Management of the National Maritime Space, following the MSP study Planning and Ordering of Maritime Space “POEM”, published in late 2012.

In 2015, Order No. 11494/2015 established the beginning of the preparation and development of the Situation Plan, the Portuguese MSP, defining the competent authorities for preparation and support of the process.

National MSP authority

Ministry of the Sea
Directorate General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM)
José Manuel Marques
(Head of Marine Environment and Sustainability Department)


Directorate General for Maritime Policy (DGPM)
Paulo Machado
(Senior Technical Expert)



Last Update 27.07.2017