Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 6

3 April 2019



This is the sixth edition of our 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 Summer 2019, we want to hear your views so please get in touch with us or share this newsletter with your networks. For those new to the newsletter you can find our old editions on the website. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

Update on the Plan

Stakeholder feedback on the consultation draft WNMP (dWNMP) indicated a need for detailed implementation guidance - which was originally part of the dWNMP. However, many commented the plans length and complexity masked the key policies and objectives. Over the last year we have been working with stakeholders to refine the dWNMP before adoption to reduce its length and promote accessibility for users.


We have re-structured the dWNMP to separate out the detailed implementation guidance and underpinning evidence into a supporting framework. The shortened core WNMP will include the vision, objectives and policies. Implementation guidance will form part of a suite of supporting guidance which we are developing with stakeholder input. This approach will allow for timely and responsive updates to guidance as we learn from plan implementation. It will also support the consideration of up-to-date evidence from the Wales Marine Planning Portal as part of decision making. We will continue to consider the need for independent investigation as we look to finalise the plan.

Marine Planning Portal

As part of the marine planning process we have made available a Marine Planning Portal which allows users to view and understand spatial evidence relating to Welsh Seas. As we move to adoption of the WNMP we will be using the portal to make available the latest information which decision makers may have a regard to in taking planning decisions. For more information on the portal see the explanatory video.


Next steps

Since the dWNMP consultation closed we have been finalising the policies within the plan and settling the text with input from a wide range of stakeholders. At the end of January we held a feedback meeting with members of the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group. Our stakeholders positively welcomed the redrafted plan and acknowledged the engagement that had happened since consultation. Over the last few weeks we have been working with Welsh Government and UK policy leads to sign off the policies within the plan and this will be finalised by late Spring. We will then prepare advice to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs who will sign off the final plan.


Relevant Public Authorities meeting

We held our second face to face meeting with relevant public authorities who will have duties in relation to the WNMP under S58 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). The ‘Marine Planning Decision Maker’s Group’ met on 6 February and discussed Implementation guidance and looked in detail at developing case studies. These case studies will provide practical examples of what implementing the WNMP might look like for both decision makers and developers. The next meeting is scheduled for 10 July. For more information on the group or if you think your organisation should be a member visit our webpages.


Managing the marine historic environment of Wales

Welsh Government want your views on how we should update the management and protection of the marine historic environment guidance. The marine historic environment includes heritage assets; wrecks, submerged prehistory and coastal and intertidal archaeology. ‘Managing the marine historic environment of Wales’ explains the Welsh Government’s approach to underwater heritage and offers best-practice guidance for its protection and management. Have your say by 3 June 2019.


Developing policy agenda – IEMA

We’re looking at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s (IEMA) Proportionate EIA Strategy in response to the developing policy agenda set out in the dWNMP. This work has included a workshop to explore “Embedding a proportionate approach as part of implementation of the Welsh National Marine Plan”. A key element of this approach will be continuing to work collaboratively with all plan users and stakeholders and we will be exploring how to do this over the coming months, for example through the EMFF funded “Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources” project. Read more on the Proportionate EIA Strategy here.



Moving towards the introduction of the WNMP, we are continuing to build on our engagement across boundaries. Welsh Government representatives attending the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) workshops for the south west and north west plans during February. These plans share a border with the Welsh plan and it’s important we collaborate on these estuarine areas.


Want the latest news on Fisheries and preparing for Brexit?

As the UK prepares to leave the EU it is a time of change and uncertainty for the fishing industry. We have produced a bulletin to keep stakeholders updated on what support is available, to help you prepare your business and to help you understand the implications of Brexit on the fishing industry in Wales. Sign up here.


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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