This case study addresses the integration of the fisheries management into the Maritime Spatial Planning process in the Baltic Sea Region.

There are three objectives:

  • To identify and map the actual or planned competing sea uses and assess their possible impact on the spatial and temporal allocation of fishing possibilities for the Baltic fisheries.
  • To develop credible, relevant and sound arguments to be used in balancing environmental, economic and social interests in a process of the Maritime Spatial Planning.
  • To help fishermen and the fishing industry be informed partners in Maritime Spatial Planning.


To read a quick one page summary of the case study, its aims and achievements please click here.


Our Progress so far

The Estonian Fishermen’s Association and the Estonian Fund for Nature have already agreed that the fishing industry and environmental NGOs need to work together to protect the “Baltic Sea Essential Fish Habitats”.

They now want to produce a formal, joint commitment between these sectors, to protect these shallow coastal sea areas (important as spawning, breeding, and feeding grounds for many of the Baltic Sea commercial fishes, at the level of the Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council.

In working towards this, we will ask stakeholders (in particular fishermen) to map their fishing ground and interests, in order to contribute to marine spatial planning in the area. We are also using PLAYDECIDE; a game which helps parties with widely varying interest negotiate, and eventually, reach common understanding. Our progress so far is outlined below:

36 Months On: Progress review from the Estonia, Baltic Sea case study

The GAP2 case study based in Estonia, focused on the Baltic Sea, provides an update on its last twelve months of work.

Mar 2014
24 Months On: Progress Report from the Estonia case study

Stakeholder involvement establishes Kihnu Island’s National Park: Robert Aps updates on Estonian case study's progress so far.

May 2013
18 Months On: Progress Update for Estonian Case Study

An update on the Estonian case study, 18 months into the GAP2 project.

Sep 2012
One Year On: Progress Update for Estonia Case Study

An update on the Estonian case study exploring Marine Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea, 12 months into the GAP2 project.

Jun 2012
PlayDecide: Game On

Play Decide can be used to solve complex issues by helping different stakeholders reach common understanding. We are adapting the game for fisheries management issues.

Jun 2012
Main Steps Advancing

The six next main steps in the Estonian case study mapping Baltic fisheries.

Oct 2011
Meetings and Presentations

“’Essential Fish Habitat’ concept used to considered wider ecosystem perspective in the Baltic” Four of meetings between the leader of the CS and different stakeholders were performed. In the meetings, different issues on the project implementation were addressed. In May …

Oct 2011

Next Steps

We are planning to conduct a series of Mutual Learning Events involving Estonian fishing communities between 1st October 2012 and 31st March 2013. The BaltFishPlan Web application will be used during these events, to support public participation and facilitate stakeholder consensus building.

We plan to take part in the ICES Study Group on Spatial Analyses for the Baltic Sea on 6th-8th November 2012, in Sweden. We will also continue to attend relevant Baltic Sea RAC meetings so that we can share the Estonia Mutual Learning experiences at the regional level.

How to PlayDecide

People Involved

Dr Robert Aps

Coordinator for case study

  • Robert completed his PhD in Ecology at the University of Tartu in 1981 and has worked there since 2000.
  • He is now a Senior Scientist and Head of Marine Systems Department at the Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu.
  • Robert has also worked for the Estonian Government since 1996 in a range of fisheries focused roles- currently, he is the Estonian Delegate at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).
  • Email:

Katrina Aps

Case study researcher

  • Katrina is a BSc student at the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, University of Tartu.
  • She graduated from Tallinn Tõnismäe High School (Tallinn, Estonia) in 2011.

Madli Kopti

Case study researcher

  • Madli is a Project Manager at the Research & Development Centre at the Estonian Maritime Academy.
  • In 2009, Madli graduated with an MSc from Tallinn Technical University and then went on to study her PhD at the University of Tartu, Estonian Marine Institute.

Mihhail Fetissov

Case study researcher

  • Mihhail is a software developer.
  • He completed his MSc at Tallinn Technical University in 2012, further to graduating with a BSc from the Institute of Informatics and Computer Technology (Tallinn, Estonia) in 2010.

Mart Undrest

Case study researcher and stakeholder

  • Case Study Researcher, Legal Issues of the Maritime Spatial Planning
  • 2006 – Master’s degree in Law and Criminology,( LL.M.), cum fructu (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Fishermen’s Organization

Stakeholder Participants


Case Study: Mapping Baltic Fisheries in Support of Maritime Spatial Planning
Presentation on Estonia case study

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