The Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay

Planning solutions

Introduction

The planning area of the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay emphasises multifaceted natural conditions, rich cultural heritage and a flourishing business community that together create an interesting and attractive environment. The Northern Bothnian Sea is a marine sub-area with open water, the Quark is characterised by its globally unique isostatic uplift and the Bothnian Bay is known for its shallowness, winter ice cover and salmon rivers. Currently, the most significant uses of the marine area are industry and maritime logistics serving trade, recreational use and fishing, but alongside these, sectors including tourism, energy production and aquaculture are set to grow in the future.

Its proximity to the sea is an important pull factor for the area and there is an aim to exploit this more extensively than before. Tourism on the coast and in the marine area is actively being developed and expectations are high. The special conditions of the area, such as the sea freezing, open up opportunities to develop unique winter tourism. The coast of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Bothnian Bay area are known in Finland as an area with extremely high potential for offshore wind power construction. Developing ports and fairways is crucial to the area’s international connections and to the competitiveness of industry. There are aims to improve the operating conditions for the fishing industry in the area and to boost migratory fish stocks. Aquaculture in the area is currently still modest but growth is underpinned by demand for fish for domestic consumption and a strong processing industry.

The maritime spatial plan highlights both the area’s current use and opportunities for the future and it also shows the natural and cultural assets that support the area’s development. The plan identifies the most important areas for tourism and recreation, seafaring and fishing, and areas with potential for developing e.g. offshore wind power and aquaculture. Regarding natural values, attention is drawn to the most significant areas of underwater natural value. Regarding cultural heritage, there is an emphasis on the most important areas in terms of underwater cultural heritage.

The marine environment and nature

The maritime spatial plan indicates areas of significant underwater natural values, which are also potential areas for ecosystem services production. When developing the use of the areas, it is important to consider the preservation of the characteristics of underwater habitats. The plan marking does not consider administrative border or conservation areas, and the indicated areas are not proposals for conservation areas.

The areas shown on the map are identified in the national inventory (Finnish ecologically significant marine underwater areas, EMMA, link) as being important areas in terms of underwater ecology. There are a total of 31 areas of underwater natural value in the Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay planning area. The areas are especially important in terms of the biodiversity, vulnerability and uniqueness of biotopes and species. Geologically diverse areas and areas in a natural state are also included. The boundaries of the areas are mainly based on the data gathered in the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU) on aquatic plants and other biomes, Baltic Sea coastal habitats and spawning areas for fish.

Areas defined as EMMA areas are those for which sufficient mapping data is available. Significant natural values are also located outside these areas. As the amount of data increases in the future, more significant areas will be able to be identified. It is important to survey and pay attention to underwater natural values other than those the areas identified in the plan.

The maritime spatial plan does not indicate existing areas in the Natura 2000 network, national parks or other conservation areas whose protection and implementation is guided by other legislation but they have been taken into account in the planning process. The planning area also contains several internationally and nationally important areas for birds, which are not shown on the map. The areas in the Natura 2000 network and important bird areas were taken into account in drawing up the plan, including when identifying areas for energy production.

Underwater natural values in the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay include, for example, fish spawning areas, underwater biotopes and flora as well as geological formations. Natural values are concentrated in shallow coastal waters and in the environment surrounding islands. There are significant areas particularly in the Quark, on the coast of Central Ostrobothnia and North Ostrobothnia as well as at the end of the Bothnian Bay. Several of the EMMA areas are highly important as fish spawning areas. The areas are characterised by diverse endangered aquatic plants. Due to isostatic uplift, habitats are constantly changing.

Maritime spatial planning identifies significant ecological connections, such as rivers which are important for migratory fish. It is important to pay attention to the preservation and improvement of the ecological connections when developing various human operations. In this planning area, the Tornionjoki river is the most important salmon river in Finland and one of the world’s most important spawning areas for Atlantic salmon. Other rivers in the area have also an impact on migratory fish populations and, on a wider level, land-sea interaction.

In the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay area the Kemijoki, Iijoki, Lestijoki and Lapväärtinjoki–Isojoki rivers are defined as priority sites in Finland’s National Fish Passage Strategy. These rivers are central in terms of returning salmon fish migration opportunities. Besides the priority sites, there are also other sites that are locally important. For example, fish passage plans are already in place in the Oulujoki river.

Illustration. Areas of significant underwater natural values in the Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay area.

Energy

The “Energy production” marking in the maritime spatial plan indicates potential areas for offshore wind power which promote the concentrated siting of offshore wind power construction and its harmonisation with good environmental status, landscape values and other uses of marine areas. Other forms of energy production can be included in the maritime spatial plan during the next planning rounds, if necessary.

In the first planning round, it was identified that the Gulf of Bothnia in particular has good prerequisites for large-scale offshore wind power construction. The energy production areas identified in the planning area are located in the open sea and outermost coastal waters in the Northern Bothnian Sea and Bothnian Bay. In the northern part of the Bothnian Bay, the plan shows three extensive entities in the marine areas of Ii–Simo, Siikajoki–Hailuoto and Pyhäjoki–Raahe. In the southern part of the Bothnian Bay, to the north of the Quark, there is one area off Jakobstad. In the south of the Quark, in the Northern Bothnian Sea area, an extensive area is sited in the Korsnäs–Närpes marine area plus a smaller area off Sideby. The total area of the areas shown on the map is approximately 2,000 km2.

In identifying potential areas, an analysis produced by the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE) to support the planning of the siting of wind power potential which takes extensively into account natural values, wind power cost factors and factors linked to livelihoods and recreational value has been used. In indicating potential areas in maritime spatial planning, attention has been paid, among other things, to conservation areas and natural values, landscape values, the depth of the sea bed and national defence operations. Natura 2000 areas and shipping areas have been exclusion criteria in the planning process. The analysis of potential areas for offshore wind power has been general in nature, and, for example, types of soil on the sea bed have not been taken into account and will be examined in more detail in conjunction with any potential projects.

The potential areas indicated are located at least 10 kilometres off shore in areas with a depth of
10–50 metres. In the plan, potential offshore wind power areas in the Bothnian Sea and the Bothnian Bay are almost entirely sited at a depth of less than 40 metres. The northernmost entity in the Bothnian Bay sited in the Ii–Simo marine area is partly at a depth of less than 10 metres. The Finnish defence forces’ firing and military training area at Lohtaja spans a wide area which means that, according to current information, constructing offshore wind power would in all likelihood be impossible.

The plan prioritises offshore wind power areas previously designated in regional plans where these meet the criteria of maritime spatial planning. Besides the regional plans and SYKE’s wind power modelling, offshore wind power lifecycle cost modelling for the Gulf of Bothnia area has been used to identify potential areas.

Concentrating wind power production in the open sea in clear entities sufficiently far from the shore and the archipelago promotes harmonisation of wind power and other uses of the marine area and the management of environmental impacts. One important aspect in terms of the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia is that of taking into account the combined impacts with the many onshore wind farm projects planned in the coastal region. Most other operations in the planning area and valuable areas in terms of the natural marine environment are sited in coastal waters, archipelagos and other shallow marine areas. Of the sub-areas in the Bothnian Bay planning area, the Quark is the most poorly suited for the construction of large-scale offshore wind power due to the archipelago and its associated natural and cultural values.

In offshore wind power development, it is important to pay attention to marine livelihoods, landscape values, nature and cultural values, recreational use, seafaring and defence. Furthermore, the connection needs of energy transmission in marine areas as well as the connection to the main electricity transmission grid must be considered.

Other markings related to energy are the electricity transmission line from Finland to Sweden in the Northern Bothnian Sea and, in the Bothnian Bay area, the marine area surrounding the planned Hanhikivi nuclear power station in Pyhäjoki, which is designated a special area. A need for a transmission line across the Quark to Sweden is identified in the planning area. The plan in the form of the map does not show the electricity connections for the offshore wind power areas. The importance of planning electricity transmission links is highlighted in the planning principles for energy production areas and the different marine area zones.

Nuclear power construction is planned at Hanhikivi in Pyhäjoki. The nuclear power station’s operations are connected to the sea due to its cooling system. The nuclear power station will use sea water as a coolant, which means heat will be emitted into the marine area. The nuclear power plant will have an additional impact on uses to which the surrounding marine area can be put, which is why the restricted area surrounding it is shown on the maritime spatial plan as a special area.

Maritime logistics

Maritime spatial planning identifies the internationally significant ports in the TEN-T Core Network and Comprehensive Network, as well as other regionally important ports. Seafaring areas, further connections on the mainland, smooth transport flow and safety are central to the conditions determining the functioning and development of ports. The port markings also cover other operations which depend on port areas such as industry and logistics centres.

The internationally significant ports in the TEN-T Comprehensive Network in the Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay area are the ports of Kemi, Oulu, Raahe, Kokkola, Jakobstad and Kaskinen. Other significant ports are the ports of Tornio, Kalajoki and Jakobstad. The marking may also include other nearby and/or smaller ports that are not otherwise possible to represent in a general maritime spatial plan. For example, the marking for the Port of Ajos in Kemi also covers the Port of Veitsiluoto serving the Veitsiluoto paper mill.

The seafaring areas indicated in the maritime spatial plan are mainly Class 1 merchant shipping fairways and other busy marine areas. The seafaring areas have been identified based on the areas used by maritime transport, locations of existing fairways and the needs to indicate new fairways with a general “Seafaring areas” marking. It is important to pay attention to the future needs of seafaring and maritime logistics as well as the prerequisites for safe seafaring when developing the seafaring areas. No needs for new fairways have been identified in the Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay area in this planning round. The development of maritime logistics in the area is based on developing the existing network of ports and fairways.

The only international ferry link in the planning area (Vaasa–Umeå) and the planned Hailuoto fixed link are shown with the “Functional connection” marking. The maritime spatial plan identifies economically and functionally significant existing and potential functional connections which support the livelihoods and other wellbeing in the areas. Functional connections may refer to tourism and recreation as well as infrastructure connection needs. The coordination needs of different sectors must be considered when developing the connections. Connections must be developed in a diversified manner.

In maritime spatial planning, in order to foster the good status of the marine environment, the future needs for dredging of ports and Class 1 merchant shipping fairway areas have been surveyed and most suitable banking sites for dredging masses identified in terms of protecting the marine environment and cost effectiveness (link).

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is a Europe-wide transport network comprising a core network to be built by 2030 and a comprehensive network to be completed by 2050. The aim is to create a safe and sustainable EU transport system which facilitates the smooth movement of people and goods.

Fishing and aquaculture

Regarding professional fishing, the maritime spatial plan shows important areas for coastal net fishing and open sea trawling. Net fishing areas illustrated with a fishing marking are based on the Natural Resources Institute Finland’s net fishing data which covers class 1 net fishing areas. Open sea trawling data is based on data maintained by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) on the movements of fishing vessels. Monitoring and location identification obligations and electronic reporting apply to vessels of over 12 metres, such that there is no comprehensive data covering smaller fishing vessels. Fishing areas have been generalised to suit the maritime spatial planning scale. It should be borne in mind that the location of catch sites and the times when they are used vary with fish movements and other conditions. Other important areas for professional fishing such as fyke net sites or the network of fishing harbours are not shown on the map due to the maritime spatial planning scale, but they have been taken into account in the planning process. Recreational fishing is addressed in the maritime spatial plan under the theme of tourism and recreation.

The fishing industry depends on the aquatic environment and good status fish stocks. The spawning areas of many fish species are located near the shore or in the archipelago. The most important fish spawning areas are shown in the maritime spatial plan with the marking “Significant underwater natural values”.

In the maritime spatial plan, the aquaculture marking indicates areas with potential for further rearing of fish. The plan takes into account the aims of the Finnish Aquaculture Strategy to increase fish farming in the marine area. Areas with potential for fish farming are presented as generalised strategic markings. The starting point for developing aquaculture is the new possibilities that new technologies open up to site aquaculture such that the potential burden on the sea and marine environment is as minimal as possible.

The FINFARMGIS modelling produced by the Natural Resources Institute Finland and existing and planned fish farming infrastructure were used to identify potential aquaculture areas. In identifying fish farming areas, use was made of the FINFARMGIS method, produced by the Natural Resources Institute Finland’s Aquaculture Innovation Programme and based on an ecosystem approach. The aim of FINFARMGIS analysis is to evaluate the appropriateness of the areas for the purpose of fish farming applying environmental, social and economic criteria. Spatial data is used to create a synthesis map, through multi-criteria decision analysis and cost surface analysis, which describes in a modelling-based classification the best areas for large-scale fish farms in Finland’s marine areas.

On the basis of the Natural Resources Institute Finland’s data, in this planning area potential fish farming areas are particularly located in the Quark and the Northern Bothnian Sea. There is also a great deal of potential for aquaculture in the Bothnian Bay area but the FINFARMGIS model does not clearly highlight areas that are more suited than average. According to the model, there would be an area favourable for fish farming near Kalajoki but in the plan the area in question is prioritised for tourism development. The plan map emphasises existing fish farms in the Bothnian Bay area and their continued development.

Tourism and recreation

The maritime spatial plan indicates entities that are important for tourism and recreation and located in the marine area and on the coast. The areas indicated cover the most important existing tourism centres. The marine area’s natural and cultural values are important engines for tourism and recreation, and consequently identified entities encompass a wide range of different natural and cultural values. The “Tourism and recreation” marking also includes areas significant for recreational fishing and hunting.

The areas shown in the plan are the Quark archipelago, the Jakobstad–Luoto–Kokkola area, the Kalajoki area, Raahe, Oulu–Liminganlahti–Hailuoto and Sea Lapland. These areas are associated with both significant existing tourism and recreation, and opportunities to further develop sustainable tourism based on the marine environment. Regarding developing tourism operations in particular, the plan emphasises existing tourism centres and other visitor destinations. Many other areas not shown in the maritime spatial plan are also of regional and local importance in terms of recreational use (e.g. boating, fishing and hunting).

In line with the planning principles, when developing tourism and recreation operations, it is important to promote the prerequisites for and accessibility of maritime tourism as well as to form functional entities which can be used to steer the burden on the environment caused by tourism. The sustainability of operations must be considered when developing tourism and recreation.

Maritime spatial planning identifies economically and functionally important existing and potential connections which support livelihoods and accessibility. A functional connection may refer to tourism and recreation, and infrastructure connection needs. The coordination needs of different sectors must be considered when developing the connections and connections must be developed in a diversified manner. Functional connections shown in the maritime spatial plan are the Vaasa–Umeå connection, which is the only ferry route in the Gulf of Bothnia, and the northernmost year-round ferry connection in Europe. The planned Hailuoto fixed link is also shown as a functional connection.

The maritime spatial plan shows important and existing tourism and recreational connections. These are a cross-border tourism and recreational connection in the northern part of the Bothnian Bay and a connection parallel with the coast describing leisure boating and cruise traffic, which depends on existing ports and tourist destinations. According to the planning principle, is important to pay attention to accessibility and the formation of functional entities when developing tourism and recreational connections.

The table below describes tourism and recreation development zones presented in the maritime spatial plan in the northern Sea of Bothnia, Kvarken and Bay of Bothnia areas

AreaDescription
Sea LaplandThe key areas within this zone include the Bothnian Bay National Park, the twin towns of Tornio–Haparanda, the three large rivers, which are rich in fish stocks, and the archipelago that extends into Swedish sovereign territory. The SnowCastle of Kemi and the Wanha Pappila coastal cottages in Simo.
Oulu – Liminka Bay – HailuotoThe key areas within this zone include Oulu, the Liminka Bay Visitor Centre, the national landscape of Hailuoto and the Marjaniemi lighthouse.
Raahe The old town of Raahe and the Raahe archipelago
The Kalajoki areaThe key areas within this zone include the sandbanks of Kalajoki and the Ulkokalla lighthouse island.
The Jakobstad – Larsmo – Kokkola areaThe key areas within this zone include the old town of Kokkola (known as Neristan), the old town of Jakobstad (Skatan and Rosenlund), the archipelago, the coast and the road with seven bridges.
The Kvarken archipelagoThe key areas within this zone include the Kvarken World Heritage Site, archipelago villages, Rönnskär Nature Station, the Valassaaret coastguard station and lighthouse, Mikkelinsaaret islands and Kummelskär nature station.

Cultural heritage

Maritime spatial planning identifies cultural heritage clusters that include, for example, nationally valuable landscape areas, nationally significant built cultural environments (RKY), underwater cultural landscapes, coastal fishing tradition areas and entities related to seafaring, traditional biotopes and villa culture.

The maritime spatial plan indicates 16 entities of cultural heritage value, representing different types of cultural heritage features characteristic of the planning area of the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark and the Bothnian Bay. These areas are described in a table.

According to the planning principle, when developing the entities, it is important to pay attention to the preservation of the characteristics of the area, enhancement of cultural values, accessibility of areas, natural values, value of the open sea landscape as well as marine livelihoods.

Maritime spatial planning identifies significant functional archipelago entities in marine areas, which combine the local archipelago culture, year-round residence and holiday homes, several maritime sectors, biodiversity and cultural environment. The archipelagos indicated in the maritime spatial plan are Hailuoto, the Luoto archipelago, Replot, Köklot and the Maxmo archipelago and Bergö. The Quark archipelago is the most significant archipelago in the Gulf of Bothnia and includes several viable archipelago villages. The Luoto archipelago between Jakobstad and Kokkola is also a thriving archipelago entity. Hailuoto is the only populated island in the northern part of the Bothnian Bay.

In delimiting the archipelago areas, attention has been paid to variables impacting on the creation of a vital archipelago, such as housing, livelihood, services, accessibility, good infrastructure connections and cultural environments. The vital archipelago culture, diverse business life and year-round accessibility of the areas should be considered when developing the areas. It is important to develop the infrastructure in the areas to support their vitality and characteristics.

The table below describes areas of cultural significance presented in the maritime spatial plan in the northern Sea of Bothnia, Kvarken and Bay of Bothnia

AreaDescription
Maakalla and UlkokallaMaakalla island and the Ulkokalla lighthouse island. Fishing, seal hunting and seafaring destinations. The wooden church in Maakalla. The lighthouse settlement in Ulkokalla.
The cultural environment of SimoSimonkylä and Simoniemi village settlement, church and vicarage. The old Ostrobothnia coastal road. The museum road in Simonkylä village. The Vasankari sawmill area and fishing huts. Simo railway station.
Bothnian Bay National Park and the cultural environment off the coast of KemiThe islands off the coast of the town of Kemi and the Bothnian Bay National Park contain buildings and structures related to fishing, ice cellars, net racks and fisherman’s huts. Boundary markers on the old border. The old huts and sheds of the fishing harbour in the village of Kankaanmaa.
OhtakariThe fisherman’s settlement and pilot station on the island of Ohtakari. The fishing village, pilot station and pilot’s cottages. Fisherman’s huts, net shelters and salting barns. The daybeacon, daymark, smokery and fishing museum.
The parish village and fishing harbour of RaippaluotoAn archipelago settlement in the national landscape of Kvarken, including peasant buildings, churches, vicarages, schools, village roads and fishing harbours.
RönnskärPilots operated on the island even before the Gulf of Bothnia navigation district was established in 1848. The beacon tower and pilot station buildings.
The fishing harbour of MoikipääA harbour area related to seafaring and fishing. Boathouses of various ages in a uniform row along the coasts of Finnhamnsviken and Finnhamn.
Harrström fishing harbour and villageIllustrative of the economic history of the Ostrobothnian coastal village. Boathouses and net sheds, fishermen’s cottages, seaside meadows. The village has windmills, a museum bridge, and small-scale courtyard areas.
The village of Siipy and the Kiili fishing harbourA community engaged in peasant sailing, shipbuilding, seafaring and fishing, as well as the built environment used to sustain its livelihoods.
Åminne fishing harbourWell over 100 boathouses and barns for storing fishing supplies in a long line on both banks of the river and in two rows in some places, forming a corridor.
Kokkola and TankarThe grid-plan area of wooden buildings in Kokkola, with a street network dating back to the 1660s and residential, commercial and public buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The beacon, lighthouse and pilot communities of Tankar and Trutklippan.
Harbours and archipelago village of BergöSmall boat and net sheds in the fishing harbours of Bredhälla and Perisgrund, as well as a fish saltery. The archipelago village and buildings of Bergö are illustrative of the archipelago community engaged in seafaring, fishing and boat-building.
Björköby and ValassaaretThe archipelago village of Björköby is a typical example of an arable farm landscape and village structure on a coast that is undergoing glacial rebound. The settlement was built on De Geer moraine ridges, and the fields are in narrow depressions between the ridges. Valassaaret lighthouse and buildings for the lighthouse wardens.
Öuran and MässkärThe fishing harbour of Öuran – a hunting and fishing base – fisherman’s huts and commercial buildings. Mässkär lighthouse and pilot community buildings. Pilot stations, lighthouse, cottages that housed the pilots, fishermen’s buildings and small summer villas.
UlkokrunniA settlement for civil servants working in the area of navigation, established in an isolated environment, including a beacon tower and pilot station.
RöyttäThe pilot station and harbour environment on the island of Röyttä in Ii.
HailuotoThe island landscapes uniquely express the relationship between nature and culture. The built environment consists of the arable farming villages of Ojakylä and Kirkonkylä, the areas of Pajuperä, Iso Sunikari and Fiskin Sunikari, which are related to fishing, and the Marjaniemi settlement, which is related to seafaring.
RaaheThe beacon towers and pilot station of Iso-Kraaseli and Tasku. The regular grid plan of Raahe, dating back to 1649 and including wooden houses, the Pekkatori square with closed corners, bourgeois houses, town hall and central school. The Raahe Seminary (former teacher education institute) and Pattijoki bridge.
The Varjakka sawmill settlementIn terms of its buildings and environment, this is one of the best-preserved sawmill settlements designed around a major sawmill in the steam age. The ruins of the old production buildings in Varjakka, homes of the sawmill workers, grounds of the Varjakka manor house and three wooden residential buildings.

Maritime industry

In maritime spatial planning, maritime industry is identified as a central part of entities comprising maritime livelihoods, maritime clusters. Maritime industry operations are often centralised in the vicinity of large ports. No significant maritime industry areas have been identified on the map in the Northern Bothnian Sea, the Quark or the Bothnian Bay. The planning area does not currently contain significant shipbuilding or offshore dockyards.

The energy and aquaculture areas identified in the maritime spatial plan can be used to demonstrate new technologies. The offshore wind power potential identified in the maritime spatial plan supports the development of marine industry, partly by making port operations more versatile and by creating new demand for products from the mechanical engineering industry. Functional logistics connections on land and at sea are important in terms of the competitiveness of maritime industry. When developing ports, it is important to prepare for increasing maritime logistics and the realisation of a variety of projects sited at sea.

Minerals

In this planning round, no mineral potential is indicated in the maritime spatial plan. The underlying data for identifying potential areas is not yet sufficient and the small size of mining sites poses challenges when indicating potential in the maritime spatial plan. In vision work, the mining industry is identified as a sector of the future, and it has also been examined in the report on the current state of the Blue Economy (link). Seabed sand resources, such as sand and gravel formations, are typically the same areas that have very high natural values.

Blue biotechnology

In this planning round, no blue biotechnology potential is indicated in the maritime spatial plan given the lack of more detailed research and reports. In vision work, blue biotechnology is identified as an important sector of the future, and it has also been examined in the report on the current state of the Blue Economy (link). Indirectly, the sector is included in the aim of good status of the marine environment because a sea whose status is good is capable of also producing high quality raw materials for biotechnology needs

National defence

Safeguarding the operations of Finland’s defence forces has been taken into account in the maritime spatial planning process. In the maritime spatial plan, defence force areas are mainly shown in the background material.

In maritime spatial planning, attention has been paid to restricted marine areas in line with the Territorial Surveillance Act and to firing and military training areas. There is one firing and military training area in the Northern Bothnian Sea, Quark and Bothnian Bay area. There are no restricted areas under the Territorial Surveillance Act.

The Lohtaja firing and military training area located in the Bothnian Bay is shown in the maritime spatial plan as an area of special operations. The area is important for Finland’s national defence because it is the only area in Finland where it is possible for the three defence forces to jointly conduct air defence exercises and where it is possible to fire all air defence weapons systems. When developing areas designated as special areas in the maritime spatial plan, it is important to pay attention to the restrictions on other operations imposed by special areas and to clarify the possibility for multipurpose use of these areas. The special areas have a significant impact on the surrounding marine area and opportunities for its use.

Of the uses of marine areas set to grow in the future, offshore wind power construction will require harmonisation with the needs of national defence. This was taken into account in the first planning round where the emphasis on the potential of offshore wind power was placed in the Gulf of Bothnia.