Welsh National Marine Plan - Issue 9

16 August 2019



This is the ninth 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 Autumn 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.

Progress on the WNMP

Last month we gave you an update on progress towards producing the WNMP. Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs will soon be considering the final plan for adoption. Following this, we will seek approval from the UK Government’s Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), due to a number of retained functions within the WNMP.


As the plan continues to progress to adoption stage we continue to meet and engage through the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG) and Marine Planning Decision Maker’s Group (MPDMG). We have also produced a Frequently Asked Questions document. If you have any further questions you think could usefully be addressed please email us.

SMMNR Project

It has already been a busy summer for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) funded Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources (SMMNR) programme of work, which is progressing successfully. ABPmer are continuing to bring together the environmental evidence base for tidal stream energy, wave energy and aquaculture in Wales. Despite some challenging weather conditions in July, multibeam surveys have been carried out off the north-west coast of Pembrokeshire and west coast of Anglesey.


Data collected from these surveys will soon be supplemented by drop-down video surveys to provide broad-scale characterisation of benthic habitats within these areas. This new data, along with the relevant evidence already identified in the marine environmental evidence base for Wales project will be used to inform assessments of environmental constraints and opportunities relevant to the development of these sectors. Related work is progressing in relation to the aggregate industry. Read more


MPA Network Management

In August, Lesley Griffiths published the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network Management Action Plan for 2019-2020. It demonstrates our commitment towards improving Wales’ marine biodiversity and in doing so approved additional funding for four actions to the sum of £138,500. Management of our network of MPAs is a shared responsibility across a number of management authorities and the Action Plan for 2019-2020 is the result of a considerable amount of work by the MPA Management Steering Group. Read more


Draft NDF published for consultation

The draft National Development Framework (NDF) has been published for consultation. The NDF is a new land development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040. It sets a strategy for addressing key national priorities through the planning system, including sustaining and developing a vibrant economy, decarbonisation, developing resilient ecosystems and improving the health and well-being of our communities. It is a spatial plan, which means it sets a direction for where we should be investing in infrastructure and development for the greater good of Wales and its people.


The NDF and Marine Plan work together to provide a framework for the management of change around our coast. Co-ordination between marine and terrestrial planning is important to sustain and facilitate the development of port, harbour and marina businesses and associated enterprises; coastal communities; tourism opportunities; energy generation; and seascapes. The WNMP has informed the preparation of the NDF and, where relevant, should inform Strategic and Local Development Plans and decisions made through the development management process.


You have until 1 November to respond to the consultation and there are a series of consultation events running throughout September and October across Wales so you can speak to the team directly delivering this work. You are very welcome to come along but please note these sessions are subject to demand and you will have to book your slot. If you would like more information, or to book a slot, please contact the team. Visit the website for more information.


Area Statements: Marine

Under the Environment (Wales) Act, Natural Resources Wales are required to create Area Statements. The objective of Area Statements is to facilitate the delivery of Welsh Government’s Natural Resources Policy using a place-based approach. Recognising that the marine environment has its own unique risks, challenges and opportunities; one of the seven Area Statements will be for the marine inshore area. Working with stakeholders they will be identifying the priority actions for the sustainable management of Welsh seas.

Area Statements

NRW have recently published an ‘Area Profile’ which summarises information on the marine and coastal natural resources of Wales and some of the benefits they provide. Engagement has also started through the Welsh Marine Action and Advisory Group to identify emerging themes for the Marine Area Statement:

  • Nature-based solutions and coastal adaptation: what needs to happen to ensure Wales has a coastline that is resilient to climate change in the future and that can deliver multiple benefits?
  • Building the resilience of marine ecosystems: what needs to happen to develop ecologically resilient networks and achieve Good Environmental Status for Welsh seas.
  • Supporting the implementing of marine planning: what needs to happen to make the most of opportunities to improve management of marine resources under the new planning framework?

During September and October, engagement will take place with stakeholders across Wales to explore these themes and work collectively to identify what actions to focus on. If you would like to hear more about this engagement or the marine Area Statement, please contact marine.as@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

EU funds for new climate change collaboration between Wales and Ireland

A pilot project designed to help coastal communities in Wales and Ireland adapt to the impact of climate change has been backed by €1.3 million EU  funds. The 2 year Coastal Communities Adapting Together (CCAT) project will look at the regional implications of climate change, focussing on the coastal communities of Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock in Wales, and Rush and Portrane in North County Dublin, Ireland. It will also look for commercial opportunities for marine energy from the Irish Sea, seeking creative solutions to globally important climate change issues. Read more


New EU marine energy project to flow between Wales and Ireland

Counsel General and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles, has welcomed a €4.2m EU investment in a cross border project aiming to boost the marine energy industry in Wales and Ireland. Funded by the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme, the Selkie project will bring together leading researchers and businesses from both nations to create technologies to help improve the performance of ocean energy devices being developed by Irish and Welsh businesses. Read more


Consultations: Have your say

Marine and fisheries policies for Wales after Brexit

Closing soon

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). The consultation includes a species found in the marine environment, 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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