Marine Planning - Issue 13

14 January 2020



This is the thirteenth edition of our newsletter, which will keep you up to date on the latest developments as we implement the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP). We published and adopted the WNMP on 12 November 2019. As we implement the plan with decision maker’s 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 here. Contact details are at the bottom of the newsletter.

The year in summary

2019 was another busy year for the Marine Planning team with the launch of the first Welsh National Marine Plan on 12 November. This followed hard work by the team and also significant and invaluable input from our marine stakeholders. Interestingly the plan was launched on the tenth anniversary of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 which is the legislative framework for marine planning in the United Kingdom. We were pleased to receive positive feedback on the plan from our stakeholders who feel we have struck a good balance between conflicting positions and issues.


Feedback we received from the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s review of the draft Plan, in April 2018, said focus should be given to making the plan more accessible. In December we published a number of documents to help user’s understand the purpose of the Marine Plan and provide easy reference to the policies – see further information on these below.


Our focus now turns to plan implementation and monitoring the plan’s effectiveness. In 2020 we will continue to work closely with our stakeholder groups; the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG) and the Marine Planning Decision Marker’s Group (MPDMG) who will help us ensure we take forward marine planning for the benefit of current and future generations.


At the beginning of this year we will be publishing further marine plan documents including a Monitoring and Reporting Framework and an Update to the Wales Marine Evidence Report that was produced in 2015.


Engagement has already started with the Relevant Public Authorities that will be implementing the plan through the MPDMG and on a one to one basis and this will continue well into 2020.


WNMP: Supporting documents

Last month we published a number of documents to help user’s understand the purpose of the Marine Plan and provide easy reference to the plan and policies including:

  • Overview - this summarises the WNMP in an easy to understand format.
  • Vision, objectives and policies - this summarises WNMP policies in an easy reference format.
  • Animation - We updated the animation which gives an overview of marine planning.

We also published the Sustainability Appraisal post adoption statement which is an independent report to ensure that our marine plan meets sustainability and well-being goals.


Minister secures 'strong deal' in Brussels

A strong deal for Wales’ fishing industry has been secured which will safeguard Welsh fish stocks and support coastal communities, according to Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, following agreement in Brussels on EU fishing opportunities for 2020. As part of the UK Ministerial negotiating team, the Welsh Government helped secure the deal at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels which concluded in the early hours of the morning on 18 December. Read more

Fish Council


Following plan adoption we met with our key stakeholder groups – the Marine Planning Decision Maker’s Group (MPDMG) and the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG). The latter acts as a ‘critical friend’ throughout the marine planning process and advises us on approaches to marine planning. The MPDMG meeting allowed relevant public authorities to ask any questions about plan implementation – a summary of the meeting on 20 November can be found here. The MPSRG met on 10 December and discussed plan implementation, the spatial approach to planning and monitoring and reporting. A summary of the meeting can be found here.


WNMP on the agenda at Coastal Futures

On 15 and 16 January the Coastal Futures conference will be held in London. Coastal Futures 2020 is a comprehensive briefing on marine and coastal environmental issues and activities. At this year's conference our Marine plan implementation and evidence manager Phil Coates will be giving a talk on the Welsh National Marine Plan and its development. If you're attending you can catch Phil at 11am on 16 January.  

Coastal Futures

National Development Framework – Explanatory Papers

When we consulted on the draft NDF some stakeholders asked for details of how it was prepared. We have produced explanatory papers setting this out, including a paper on the NDF and the Welsh National Marine Plan and Ports. This paper has been prepared to assist readers of the draft NDF in understanding how the relationship between the Draft NDF and the WNMP and the approach taken to ports policy. It highlights the key policy areas that overlap between the plans and the evidence that has informed the ports policies within the plan. A full index of the evidence behind every section and policy in the draft NDF will be added in February.


Neighbouring Marine Plans

Government of Ireland launches consultation on its draft Marine Plan

On 12 November, the Government of Ireland launched a consultation on its draft Marine Plan. The Draft National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) sets out how Ireland will manage its marine activities & ensure sustainable use of marine resources to 2040. More information on the draft plan and the consultation can be found here and you have until 28 February to submit your response.

ireland's plan

Public consultation opens on a number of English plans

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is consulting on a number of draft English Marine Plans including the areas of North East, North West, South East and South West Marine Plans.Two of these plans are adjacent to the Welsh marine plan area. The consultation opened today and will run for twelve weeks closing at midnight on 6 April 2020. Throughout the consultation period, the MMO has arranged training sessions for decision-makers to facilitate implementation of the draft plans and will be holding a series of informative webinars (national and plan area-based). Visit the website for more information or email


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:



We published the first Welsh National Marine Plan on 12 November 2019. It sets out our policy for the next 20 years for the sustainable use of our seas.

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