Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 7

29 May 2019



This is the seventh 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.

Monitoring and Reporting of the Plan

The Marine and Coastal Access Act requires marine planning authorities to keep under review and report on the effects of policies in their plan and their effectiveness at securing the plan objectives. Monitoring and review will allow us to determine the impact and effectiveness of the plan, ensure the plan policies are fit for purpose and whether any amendments are required to help address any new issues that have arisen.


As a first step in identifying indicators for the WNMP, we have developed a monitoring and reporting framework that aims to integrate requirements across legislative drivers. Our next steps will be to continue working with the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group and Marine Planning Decision Makers group to develop a set of indicators and supporting baseline and monitoring information using the M&R framework. Consideration will also be given to the need for more detailed implementation monitoring in the early years of the plan.


Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group

The Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG) acts as a ‘critical friend’ throughout the Marine Planning process and advises us on approaches to marine planning, and specific planning outputs including contents of the plan. At the last meeting on 2 April the group discussed NRW’s proposals for Area Statements, Monitoring and Reporting of the plan, implementation guidance and the SNMR project. A summary of the meeting can be found here.


Sustainable management of marine natural resources project

Effective marine spatial planning requires good quality spatial data that can be used to inform decision-making. To help meet this requirement, a ‘Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources’ project, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Welsh Government, is developing the environmental evidence base in relation to tidal stream energy, wave energy and aquaculture resources in the Welsh marine area.


An earlier project, which completed in January, involved collation and quality assuring datasets covering physical, chemical, biological and human environments relevant to certain marine activities. This project will build on earlier work and aims to better understand the key spatial opportunities and constraints related to use of tidal stream energy, wave energy and aquaculture resource activities in the Welsh marine area. The work is being delivered by ABPmer, supported by MarineSpace and will improve our understanding of environmental considerations by using existing data, collecting new data and engaging with stakeholders throughout this process. Evidence packages, will then be developed to help inform further planning including site selection and assessment by individual developers.

ICES in Ireland

We attended the ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management in April. It was hosted by the Irish Marine Institute and attended by representatives from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Attendees gave updates on their marine plans and we met with marine planning masters students from the local university in Galway for discussion sessions on the differing UK marine plans.


Consultations: Have your say

Managing the marine historic environment of Wales

We 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.


Marine Strategy Part One: UK updated assessment and good environmental status

We want your views on new targets towards achieving good environmental status (GES). The UK Marine Strategy covers 11 ecosystem components. In 2012, we set out targets for achieving GES in the Marine Strategy Part One. The consultation covers the assessment of progress made against these targets. We are consulting on:

  • progress made against the ecosystem components using the targets set in 2012;
  • proposals for updated objectives, targets and operational targets for 2018 to 2024

Have your say by 20 June 2019.


In conjunction with Defra and CEFAS we have produced a website to support the consultation. The ‘Marine Online Access Tool’ (MOAT) presents the UK Marine Strategy in an accessible format. Here you can view the in depth evidence for each descriptor which underpins the GES assessments in the consultation.

Marine and fisheries policies for Wales after Brexit

Brexit and our seas will help to shape our future fisheries policy, as the UK prepares to exit the European Union. We are consulting on the first stage in creating a new policy, management regime, and legislation. We want your views on:

  • fisheries management
  • sustainable fisheries
  • fishing opportunities
  • shellfish and aquaculture
  • trade
  • growth and innovation
  • fleet sustainability
  • evidence 
  • funding support

Have your say by 21 August 2019.


Contact us

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





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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