Marine Planning - Issue 14

19 February 2020



This is the fourteenth 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 makers 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.

Further plan documents published

In January we published two further documents to support plan implementation.

Monitoring and reporting framework

The M&R framework outlines the strategic approach that Welsh Government, as the marine planning authority for Wales, will follow to develop indicators for monitoring the implementation of a plan-led system for Welsh waters. Details set out in the document are provisional and will be developed in partnership with key decision makers and wider stakeholders.

M&R framework

Update to Wales marine evidence report (WMER)

The Wales marine evidence report (WMER) was published in 2015 and provided an overview of the current state, use and potential of our marine environment. We've now published an update to this document which is the first full review of changes to the evidence base since 2015. This updated document has been structured to closely follow the scope and structure of the WNMP.


Nature still surprises

Last summer, we commissioned ABPmer to collect new marine evidence for Wales. Whilst undertaking the research the team came across some interesting data. The Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources project, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, aims to expand the environmental evidence base with which decisions will be made relating to tidal stream, wave energy and aquaculture development in Welsh waters. As part of this work, members of ABPmer’s Ecological Survey team carried out a series of bathymetric and drop-down video surveys in Welsh waters. Read more.


Funding to develop projects around the Irish Sea

Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles has announced funding of more than €6 million for three new projects aimed at strengthening ties between Wales and Ireland. The European Territorial Co-operation programme will address areas of shared interest such as climate change, technological research, sustainable development and tourism. The projects will focus on coastal and freshwater pollution, eco-tourism for coastal communities on the Llŷn peninsula, Wales and Iveragh peninsula, Ireland and studying the population and habitat of two species of water bird to better understand how climate change will affect coastal communities on each side of the Irish Sea. Read more

Irish coast

Irish Sea Maritime Forum

Earlier this month our Marine Planning Stakeholder Manager attended the Irish Sea Maritime Forum in Glasgow. 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 Clyde Marine Planning Partnership, attendees gave updates on their Maritime spatial plans and other projects taking place in the Irish Sea. Whilst in Glasgow we were given a talk by the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership on the regional plan they are developing and a tour of developments on the Clyde by Glasgow City Council.


Implementing the WNMP

One of the challenges of implementing the WNMP is knowing the full extent of its effect on public authorities. We have commissioned Mott Macdonald to map all decision makers operating in the Welsh National Marine Plan Area (WNMPA) and the decisions they take. They will be contacting authorities to build a detailed picture of decisions affecting the WNMPA and how those interact with existing regulations and legislation. This will be used to ensure the Marine Planning team’s engagement efforts are targeted and relevant to each public authorities’ area of responsibility, and contribute to effective plan implementation. If you work in a Local Authority or National Park planning role we would like to hear from you, contact for more information.  


NDF - Evidence Compendium published

Evidence underpins policy and planning in Welsh Government. Alongside the evidence base for the WNMP, that we have just published (WMER), the National Development Framework (NDF) team have published their evidence compendium. The compendium, alongside a series of explanatory papers, has been prepared to assist readers of the draft NDF in understanding the range of evidence that has informed its preparation. The compendium addresses queries by stakeholders on which documents, strategies and evidence underpin the draft NDF in order to better understand what the NDF has responded to, been shaped by and is trying to achieve. This document follows the structure of the draft NDF and can be read as a companion guide.


Marine Energy high on the agenda

Last month Welsh Government launched the International Strategy for Wales which sets out the approach to international engagement. It highlights the steps Welsh Government will take to ensure Wales has an increasing profile and influence in the world. The strategy focuses on three core ambitions for the next five years. Sustainable development is at the heart of the strategy and the ambition is for Wales to be established as a global centre of excellence for marine energy and to be recognised for its ongoing research and development.


NRW are hiring!

NRW's marine team have several exciting opportunities for ambitious and passionate marine experts to join the new Offshore Renewable Energy Programme. The programme reflects the need for energy development to support the wider sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystem resilience. The roles will cover both advisory and regulatory functions, technical advice, creation of guidance and evidence reports, marine licensing and policy development. To explain more about the programme and new roles, NRW have written a blog. All posts are full time for a period of three years (March 2023) and the closing date for applications is 26 February. See the website for more information.


Angel Shark Project: Wales Celebration Events

Supported by Welsh Government, the Angel Shark Project is running a series of events to share the findings of the project and celebrate launching the History of Angels eBook. The event is open to all ages (under 16’s should be supervised by an adult) and free to attend but you'll need to register by 20 February to help the team organise catering.


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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