Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 1

July 2018 - Issue 1



This is the first edition of a newsletter which will keep you up to date on the latest developments as we move towards adopting and implementing the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP). As we finalise the plan, scheduled for 2019, we want to ensure the views of stakeholders are included so please get in touch with us or share this newsletter with your networks. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

The WNMP an overview

The seas around Wales are becoming increasingly crowded. There are competing demands for space and use of our natural resources. There is huge potential for our seas and we want to manage them in a more joined-up and planned way. The Marine and Coastal Access Act (MCAA) set out the requirement to produce a marine plan for each marine plan area. Welsh Ministers are the planning authority for the Welsh inshore and offshore regions and the WNMP will be a 20 year plan for the sustainable use of our seas. We have produced an animation to help explain the marine planning process.


Consultation on the draft Plan

On 7 December, we launched a 16 week consultation on the draft Welsh National Marine Plan accompanied by a number of supporting documents including; an overview of ‘the Plan’, a Habitats Regulations Assessment, a Sustainability Assessment and a Review of interim marine aggregate dredging policy. We received 86 responses to the consultation and we have now published a summary of these.


Marine Planning Stakeholder workshops

On 4 and 5 July we held workshops in Llandudno Junction with members of the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group to look at some of the emerging findings from the consultation. The workshops allowed us to look further at the areas of Sustainable Development, Strategic Resource Areas, Cross border management and Evidence for planning. Thank you to the 24 attendees for giving their time to help us explore these areas further. A summary of the workshops will be issued to attendees shortly.


Senedd debate

On 9 January, during the draft plan consultation period, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs led a debate on the draft Welsh National Marine Plan. In her introductory speech, Lesley Griffiths recognised the WNMP as a strong example of a policy shaped by our Wellbeing of Future Generations and Environment Acts. This was followed by a debate where a number of amendments were raised including recognising the EU’s investment in marine energy in Pembrokeshire and Anglesey and calls for similar regional cohesion investment from the UK Government following Brexit. See the full record of proceedings here.


Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee recently held a workshop with stakeholders to discuss the draft Welsh National Marine Plan (dWNMP). On 18 April they produced a report with 13 recommendations related to the dWNMP to be considered as part of the final Plan. Some of the points raised included cross border working, tourism, resilience and blue growth, evidence gathering and measuring the success of the plan. The Welsh Government's response can be found here.


Six nations meeting

The first meeting of the six administrations who are developing Marine plans around the Irish Sea took place on 20 and 21 June in Cork, Republic of Ireland. This group will help ensure good cross border working relationships and allow us to work closely with the other administrations bordering the Irish Sea. Our Marine plan Implementation and Evidence Manager, Phil Coates attended the inaugural meeting hosted by Ireland’s Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government along with representatives from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, the Isle of Man and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).  


Topics discussed included an update on the current positions, the merits of different approaches to planning and trans-boundary cooperation as a future focus. The attendees were given a tour of Cork Harbour to see examples of marine management challenges and opportunities in practice.

Discussing mussels in Brussels (and Marine Planning)

Welsh Government representatives attended the international marine spatial planning conference led by UNESCO and IOC in Brussels on 24 and 25 May. The conference, attended by other UK administrations and marine planning teams from across the world including France, Mexico, China and Israel, looked mainly at cross-border and trans boundary issues and developing best practice/guidance in response to the publication of a ‘joint roadmap for MSP worldwide’ published by UNESCO in 2017. We were also pleased to hear the Swedish representative had used the Welsh National Marine plan as an example of good practice in other forums.


Contact us

For any queries, relating to this bulletin, or anything else please get in touch with us via the mailbox or visit our webpages:



Please note the website is currently under construction as we move to a new system. If there is anything you want further information on please contact the team.



We are working on the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) which sets out Welsh Government’s policy for the next 20 years for the sustainable use of our seas.

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