Published: Wednesday, 03 January 2024



The EU Directive on MSP describes maritime spatial planning as: "a process by which the relevant Member State’s authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives."

As such, the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) co-funded project MSP-GREEN contributes to align maritime spatial plans (furthermore - MSPs) to the ambition of the EGD. The project considers five European sea basins: the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, within which the MSPs of Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia and Finland are analysed.

Over the past year - 2023, in the framework of MSP-GREEN project Working Package 2, a comprehensive methodological analysis took place where partners assessed whether and how their national Maritime Spatial Plans have considered the EGD objectives. This was realized by identifying which are the major gaps, the challenges encountered, and the trade-offs expected in mainstreaming EGD into MSPs. To achieve these objectives, partners analysed their national MSPs and identified the components in line with the various elements of the EGD actions: (1) climate change, (2) circular blue economy, (3) marine biodiversity, (4) marine renewable energy, (5) sustainable food provision, (6) zero pollution.

Additionally, the project addresses horizontal components of the EGD, such as achieving a just, fair and inclusive transition.

Read more: MARITIME SPATIAL PLANNING FOR A GREENER EUROPE: Year 2023 reflections from the MSP-GREEN Project

EEA briefing: How climate change impacts marine life

Published: Thursday, 14 December 2023

How climate change impacts marine life


This briefing summarises some of the ways in which climate change is impacting Europe’s marine ecosystems. It identifies how various ecosystem features are influenced by climate change and spotlights potential areas of concern. It also highlights areas where marine life may be more impacted by climate change compared with other areas. This work supports the recent integration of climate change as a key consideration in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). It does this by presenting a spatial description of the vulnerabilities of marine areas to climate change.


 Key messages
• Europe’s marine areas and marine life are unequally vulnerable to climate change. Recent research indicates that climate change may account for up to half of the combined impacts on marine ecosystems.
• Semi-enclosed seas (Baltic and Adriatic for example), and shallow coastal areas are more vulnerable to climate change compared to deeper, offshore areas.
• Most species are in a degraded state across Europe’s seas. Bony fish are potentially the only positive exception.
• Bottom-living communities and fish are more vulnerable than highly mobile mammals and birds, for example. This potentially impacts the whole marine food web and dependent fisheries.
• Globally, oceans are changing. Ocean warming (0.88°C higher in 2011-2020 compared to 1850-1900), oxygen loss (down 3-4% by 2100) and ocean acidification (decreased pH by 30% in 2023 compared to 1700) may be occurring at a speed that may be too fast for species to adapt to the changes.

Read the full briefing here!

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Blue Horizons!

Published: Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Blue Horizons 2


As in the first issue of our joint newsletter, to bring you the latest updates of BLUE4ALL and MSP4BIO projects, as well as the latest news on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), and Ocean Conservation.

A highlight of this edition is a joint update on the recent workshop co-organized by BLUE4ALL and MSP4BIO at the 1st Mission Arena event in Gothenburg. Discover the insights gained and the outcomes of the workshop, including the much-anticipated ROADMAP 2030 - a comprehensive strategy addressing key goals for sustainable blue growth in the Baltic and North Seas.

Explore the progress of BLUE4ALL's Living Labs, including the co-creation of tailored tools for marine protection set to commence in 2024. Get a glimpse into MSP4BIO's interactions in Split and the Azores, showcasing the project's commitment to fostering maritime management stakeholders' engagement. Moreover, mark your calendars for upcoming events, such as the International Conference on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in Singapore and the Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024.

In this issue, we also bring you external news, including the State of the Baltic Sea 2023 report, developments from the EU Blue Parks Community, and insights into the ICCAT Annual Meeting's decisions on sustainable fisheries. Don't miss announcements like the launch of the EU Blue Champions scheme and the call for abstracts for the 2024 EGU General Assembly.

The 2024 EGU General Assembly call for abstracts is open!

Read more: Welcome to the 2nd edition of Blue Horizons!

Aberdeen University, School of Geosciences is calling for Competition Funded PhD Project: Developing an Innovative System for Sustainable Resilience to Coastal Erosion: A Demonstration Project for Coastal Golf Courses!

Published: Friday, 01 December 2023

PhD fellow QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership 2024


Dr D Green, Prof J McKinley (Deadline for applications: Wednesday, January 17, 2024). Competition fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership (Students Worldwide)

All coastlines are subject to dynamic change through wave and wind action resulting in significant loss or gain of land through erosion and/or accretion. Many areas around the World are increasingly being exposed to such threats resulting in partial or complete loss of assets in the most severe cases. In the future, climate change will likely accelerate the rate of coastline change with rising sea levels and more frequent and energetic storms. Widespread evidence of climate change impacts on coasts around the world, when coupled with increasing demands being placed on dwindling management budgets, and the need to protect valuable coastal assets suggests the need for new, more cost-effective, approaches to local coastal management problems.

A focus on developing new, low-cost, and environmentally sustainable solutions will be important. This research project will design, model, implement and test a novel coastal engineering solution for the protection of coastal assets at risk, specifically golf courses. A hybrid-protection solution using sustainable materials bound into a flexible and tethered structure, allowing wind- and water-borne material to penetrate, and be captured by the structure, will be developed, and tested. This will be a low-cost structure easily installed, maintained, and managed at the local community level.

Read more: Aberdeen University, School of Geosciences is calling for Competition Funded PhD Project:...

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