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Bay of Biscay

Planning Site Focus

Challenges and opportunities for the implementation of transboundary EB-MSP, aiming for achieving socio-economic and environmental objectives based on a holistic vision of economic, environmental and social settings, and present management practices.


The Bay of Biscay is located in the temperate northeast Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by France and Spain. Within MarinePlan this is a transboundary case study and emphasis will be given to the concept of ‘connectivity’ between individual Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) declared under the national jurisdictions of Spain and France.

We will explore how to reach the EU Biodiversity Strategy targets (30% protection/10% strict protection by 2030) at a regional scale under EB-MSP by:

(i) identifying EBSAs at a regional scale,

(ii) assessing of EBSAs within the currently protected areas and protection level,

(iii) develop EB-MSP scenarios under the objectives of strictly protecting 10% of the area and the declaration of the 30% of the area under protection under climate change scenarios, and

(iv) the assessment of the effects on existing and future maritime activities such as the potential effects on fishing effort and the effects on the location and extent of suitable areas for the development of Ocean Renewable Energy and offshore aquaculture sectors.

The outcomes of the study site will be used to inform stakeholders and support planners to ensure sustainable decision-making. Within MarinePlan we will interact with governmental authorities responsible for the MSP, MSFD and MPA designations, fisheries associations (“cofradías”, in Spanish), NGOs and scientific institutions giving support to national authorities.

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