Maritime Spatial Plan for the German EEZ in the North Sea

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie

Abstract: 

In order to co-ordinate the growing conflict of maritime uses, in particular between developing and space intensiveoffshore wind farms and marine environmental protection goals as well as traditional maritime uses such as shipping and fisheries, an integrative and sustainable approach is needed for the development of the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Spatial Plan formulates guidelines for spatial development (chapter 2), sets targets and principles, especially areas, for functions and uses (chapter 3). For the German EEZ in the North Sea the Spatial Plan contains provisions aimed at co-ordinating the individual uses and functions of shipping, the exploitation of resources, laying ofpipelines and submarine cables, scientific marine research, wind power production, fisheries and mariculture, as well as protection of the marine environment. Chapter 4 deals with other interests  that need to be taken into account as well. Chapter 5 describes the use of the results of the environmental assessment report. Chapter 6 contains the co-ordinates concerning the regulations and maps with transnational pipelines and cables in the NorthSea region.

Country: 
Year: 
2009
Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Data
Economic aspects
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Land-sea interactions
Resilience to climate change
Safety aspects
Social aspects
Stakeholders
Type of practice: 
Plan
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Stocktake
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
No
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Habitats and Birds Directive
Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Water Framework Directive

Implementation Context

The Spatial Plan formulates guidelines for spatial development, sets targets and principles, especially areas, for functions and uses. For the German EEZ in the North Sea the Spatial Plan contains provisions aimed at coordinating the individual uses and functions of shipping, the exploitation of resources, laying of pipelines and submarine cables, scientific marine research, wind power production, fisheries and mariculture, as well as protection of the marine environment.

Legal basis

The legal ordinance on Spatial Planning in the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the North Sea (AWZ Nordsee-ROV)  of September 21st 2009 allowed BSH to work on the targets and principles of spatial planning for the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the North Sea, with regard to its economic and scientific use, with regard to safety and efficiency of maritime traffic as well as for the protection of the marine environment, are being determined as a Spatial Plan, comprising text and map.

Objectives of the plan

  • Coordinate the growing conflict of maritime uses, in particular between developing and space intensive offshore wind farms and marine environmental protection goals as well as traditional maritime uses such as shipping and fisheries, an integrative and sustainable approach is needed for the development of the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • Creating framework conditions allowing the offshore wind energy potential to be exploited. contributes to the implementation of the Federal Government's national marine strategy for sustainable use and protection of the seas (national strategy for the seas)

Process / Plan development

Guidelines for spatial development of the sea have been formulated

  • Priority areas have been designated for shipping and wind energy development; other uses are prohibited in such areas unless they are compatible with the priority uses. The designation of areas for shipping takes account of the principle of international law attributing priority to this use; recognised shipping routes that are indispensable for international shipping constitute the framework of the overall planning concept. Reservation areas have been designated for shipping, pipeline, and research uses that are considered particularly important when balancing with spatially significant competing uses.
  • Consideration of other concerns such as military use, tourism and leisure and ferry crossings have been integrated in the plan.
  • A Strategic Environmental Assessment according to SEA Directive 2001/42/EC on the impact of the plan on the environment has been carried out. This includes a description of the measures to be taken in the course of monitoring the impact on the environment.

Area covered

The German part of the EEZ in the North Sea.

Designated Uses

  • Shipping
  • Exploitation of non-living resources
  • Pipelines and submarine cables
  • Marine scientific research
  • Energy production, wind energy in particular
  • Fisheries and mariculture
  • Marine environment
  • Military use
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Ammunition dump sites and sediment deposition

Results

The Spatial Plan itself is the written result of the process as described. Concrete spatial results can be found in chapter 6 of the plan. It contains the coordinates concerning the regulations for shipping, windmill parks, scientific research and cables, and includes maps with transnational pipelines and cables in the North Sea region.

A map has been developed providing an overview of the main designations.

Impact on planning / decision making

The plan sets binding rules and regulations for authorities, mainly with regard to licensing procedures and approval of projects.

Public Participation

Broad public participation was secured through consultations with stakeholders (agencies and NGOs): marine environment and nature conservation, fisheries, energy, sand and gravel, shipping, military, tourism, leisure boating, research.

Transboundary Consultation
 
Contact Person

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH)

Dr. Nico Nolte

Tel nr: +49 40 3190 - 3500

Email: nico.nolte@bsh.de

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