Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 8

25 July 2019



This is the eighth 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 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

After a process of extensive engagement on plan development, a final draft is now being translated and designed before being submitted for Ministerial sign off. Prior to the plan being adopted and published it will need to be agreed by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.


Due to inclusion of a number of retained functions within the WNMP we also need approval from the UK Government’s Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Welsh Government officials have been engaging with UK policy officials including DEFRA throughout the plan development process. The sign off process will be taking place over the Summer.


When the plan is published it will be accompanied by a suite of supporting documents including a Summary of Changes Report, Sustainability Appraisal (SA), SA post adoption statement and Habitats Regulation Assessment. Further supporting material will also be developed including; Implementation Guidance and a Monitoring & Reporting Framework.


The first Welsh National Marine Plan will come into force on the day of adoption. From this point any decisions by public authorities with the potential to affect the plan area, for example marine licensing, will apply the plan in determining an application for development.


Relevant Public Authorities meeting

We held our third face to face meeting with relevant public authorities who 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 10 July and discussed the Implementation guidance that would accompany the WNMP, thoughts around practical implementation of the plan and the proposals for monitoring and reporting WNMP progress. A summary of the meeting is here. For more information on the group or if you think your organisation should be a member visit our webpages.


Contract notice: Project on GIS mapping methodology

A contract is now live on Sell2Wales inviting tenders to support Welsh Governments resource mapping work. This work is part of the Marine Planning team’s wider work on taking forward a spatial approach to supporting plan implementation. We are looking for an organisation to review approaches to GIS mapping of ‘soft constraints’ and develop a bespoke methodology for Wales to support SRA identification and clear identification and presentation of relevant spatial constraints. The contract deadline is 5 August.


Irish Sea Maritime Forum

Last month officials attended the Irish Sea Maritime Forum in Belfast. The forum comprises Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, Irish and Isle of Man Governments, the Marine Management Organisation and Universities who are all delivering maritime projects in the Irish Sea. Hosted by University of Ulster, attendees gave an update on their Maritime spatial plans and other projects taking place in the Irish Sea. Whilst in Belfast we were given a talk by the Harbour Commissioners' Office and a virtual tour of the Belfast harbour and discussed the success of their regeneration plans.


New EU-backed project to open up Welsh and Irish Sea Ports to tourism

Five Welsh and Irish Sea ports are set to benefit from a new €2.6 million EU-funded project to help turn them from passage points to key tourist sites – improving tourism opportunities, tourist experiences, and the livelihoods of coastal communities on both sides of the Irish Sea. The Ports, Past and Present project, part of the Ireland Wales Co-operation programme, was announced by the Welsh Government’s Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan during a visit to the Republic of Ireland. Read more


North Wales tidal energy industry set for £12 million EU investment

The tidal energy industry in North Wales has received a major boost following a Welsh Government investment of £12.6 million EU funds in Anglesey-based developer, Minesto. The funding will support the next phase of the company’s ground-breaking project which involves underwater kites generating energy from tidal currents. The project is part of a longer-term plan to expand the Holyhead Deep site into an 80 megawatt commercial tidal energy array with the potential to generate enough energy to power some 60,000 homes. Read more


Consultations: Have your say

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.


Management measures for widely spread invasive alien species (IAS) in England and Wales

We want your views on management measures for 14 widely spread invasive alien species (IAS) including the Chinese Mitten Crab. We are consulting jointly with UK government on proposed management measures aimed at: 

  • eradication
  • population control
  • containment

Have your say by 12 September 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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