© 2020 Elsevier LtdThe present study aims to determine priority areas for installation of wave energy converters (WECs) in a semi-enclosed sea using a multi-criteria, spatial, decision-making analysis based on geographical information systems (GIS). The study also suggests a new methodology for determination of suitable areas for WECs taking into consideration different extreme wave conditions, intra-annual variation of wave conditions, and operational range of wave conditions by the WECs. A case study over a distance of 1140 km along the coast in the southwest Black Sea is presented. In the multi-criteria analysis, areas with environmental, economic, technical and social constraints are excluded. Ocean depth, distance to ports, shore, power line, and sub-station, wave climate, and sea-floor geology are all evaluated for their impact on the system implementation and weighted according to their relevance. Thus, the final suitability index (SI) map is produced and spatial statistical significance of the suitable areas is checked using hotspot analysis. Based on this, Kırklareli coastal area and the area between İğneada Cape and Kıyıköy village are determined as primary priority areas. The sustainability parameters with different weights proposed in this study do not differentiate priority areas but affect the SI scores.