Country information

Basic facts on marine waters
  • Internal waters (to the baseline) and territorial sea (12 nm zone from the baseline): approximately 25 200 km2
  • Exclusive Economic Zone: approximately 11 300 km2 (the EEZ between Estonia and Russia is not agreed)

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

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

Which marine spatial plans exist?

Estonia does not yet have an adopted national MSP, but they are in the final stages of developing one.

In October 2012, the Government of Estonia initiated two pilot maritime spatial plans – at the area around Hiiu Island and Pärnu Bay area. The Hiiu pilot was adopted in 2016. The Pärnu Bay pilot was adopted in April 2017. However, in the Hiiu MSP, offshore wind energy has been abolished by the National Court of Estonia on 8 August 2018; all other sector-related aspects are still legally binding. They will remain in effect even after the adoption of the new Planning Act.

Hiiu Island

The main objective of the plan is to define the long-term uses of the assigned marine area through a public process. The plan contains the following sectors:

  • Shipping
  • Ports
  • Fishing
  • Aquaculture
  • Tourism (incl. recreation and sports)
  • Under water cultural heritage
  • Nature protection
  • Military
  • Submarine cables and pipelines

Pärnu Bay area

A balanced use scenario was chosen featuring a sustainable use of the Pärnu Bay area through sustainable fishing, protection of culturally and naturally important areas, safe shipping routes and diverse recreation possibilities. The plan contains the following sectors:

  • Shipping
  • Offshore renewable energy production
  • Fishing
  • Tourism (incl. recreation and sports)
  • Underwater cultural heritage
  • Nature protection
  • Submarine cables and pipelines

Legal framework

Planning on land and in Estonia’s marine waters (EEZ, territorial sea, and inland waters) is based on the Estonian Planning Act, which has been in force since July 2015, and an Order of the Government from October 2012. The two pilot MSP plans are based on this Order. The national MSP process was initiated on 25 May 2017.


Ministry of Finance

Lembe Reiman – Adviser at the Department of Spatial Planning

Last updated: June 2022
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