Country information

Basic facts on marine waters
  • Territorial sea (12 nm zone): approximately 6,358 km²
  • Exclusive Economic Zone: approximately 29,052 km²

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

Underwater cultural heritage Shipping
Ports Nature conservation
Fisheries Aquaculture
Military Scientific research
Coastal protection Oil and gas
Cables and pipelines Tourism and leisure

Which marine spatial plans exist?

Legal framework

The Maritime Space, Inland Waterways and Ports of the Republic of Bulgaria Act establishes the legal regime for the maritime space and for maritime spatial planning. In March 2018, a new Chapter titled “Using the Maritime Spaces and Protection of Marine Waters” was introduced into the Act. According to the new Article 51a, marine spaces of the Republic of Bulgaria are to be used in compliance with the principle of integrated maritime management.

The overall management and coordination of MSP-related activities are performed by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, who is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Maritime Spatial Plan of Bulgaria (Article 51b). Furthermore, an Advisory Board on Maritime Spatial Planning is established as a subsidiary body to the Minister. The latter supports the cooperation and coordination between relevant stakeholders during the MSP process and its implementation. Its tasks and responsibilities, as well as the individual members of the Council, are defined by the Minister who chairs its meeting.

The next new article stipulates that Bulgaria’s Maritime Spatial Plan shall cover its marine spaces pursuant Art. 5, paragraph 1 of the same Act, including coastal waters. The Plan will not be used for defining and delimitation of marine boundaries in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It defines the spatial and temporal distribution of activities already performed and those that are to be performed in the future with regard to marine spaces, except the activities related to defense or national security of the country.


Last updated: October 2020
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