Marine Planning - Issue 17

14 October 2020



This is the seventeenth 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.

Developing Sector Locational Guidance

Welsh Government is developing Sector Locational Guidance (SLG) for the aquaculture, tidal stream energy and wave energy sectors, as we believe these novel sectors will benefit most from this approach. The evidence presented by the SLG will support the spatial approach that we are taking to support the implementation of the WNMP. Once produced, SLG will be available as an online resource, with interactive mapping and relevant spatial data incorporated into the Marine Planning Portal.


SLG will be developed in accordance with Wales’ Sustainable Development Principle, SMNR principles and the five ways of working set out within the Well-being of Future Generations Act. It will also be informed by the UK Marine Policy Statement. We have let a contract to develop this piece of work over the next few months, having worked with the Marine Planning Stakeholder Reference Group (MPSRG) to develop our approach. We are keen to gather the views of stakeholders from the chosen sectors and so if you would like to be involved in this work please email:


We have continued to engage with our key stakeholder groups through virtual webinars. The MPSRG acts as a ‘critical friend’ throughout the marine planning process and advises us on approaches to marine planning. This group met on 24 September and received a number of presentations including one on cross border engagement and marine planning from the Solway Firth Partnership, an overview and opportunities in the Welsh marine energy sector from Marine Energy Wales and Wales Activity Mapping from Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum. A summary of the meeting can be found here.

Marine Plan Monitoring and Reporting

In January we published the Monitoring and Reporting (M&R) Framework which 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. Since then we have been working to develop a suite of indicators for monitoring the implementation and effects of the Plan. We let a contract to ABPmer to devise a draft list of indicators for us to refine and finalise with policy leads and stakeholders.


This work has now been completed and the Marine Planning team are meeting regularly with policy leads and stakeholders via the M&R sub group. The National Development Framework (NDF) M&R framework has also now been published and we are working closely with Planning Policy colleagues to identify opportunities to share evidence and expertise in this area.

Update on the National Development Framework

The draft NDF and accompanying documents have been laid (the official name for submitting) in the Senedd for a 60 day scrutiny period. We are making the following two documents available on our website to help support the scrutiny process:

  • The Working Draft NDF Document: September 2020 Version
  • The NDF Monitoring Framework

The NDF documents are available to view here.


Marine Planning in the UK

The UK Marine Policy Statement (MPS) provides the high level policy framework against which marine plans, including the WNMP, are developed and implemented. The MPS was adopted in 2011 and sets out cross-government priorities for the UK marine area and is signed-up to by all the UK Administrations. It sits alongside the WNMP as an “appropriate marine policy document” for decisions taken under Section 58 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.


The MPS includes a number of references to EU law. To ensure it remains operable following the end of the EU Transition Period, Defra and the devolved administrations have prepared a short operability guidance document, setting out how references to EU law within the MPS should be interpreted from 1 January 2021. This guidance does not amend any of the policy priorities set out in the MPS. Its sole function is to ensure the MPS, as published, remains operable following the end of the Transition Period. It applies from 1 January 2021 and is being published now to provide a lead-in period for users of the MPS, including developers and Relevant Public Authorities, to familiarise themselves with it.

Ministerial statement on Future Fisheries Policy

Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has published a statement in response to the Brexit and our Seas consultation and the next steps towards a future fisheries policy for Wales.



Marine Strategy Part Two: UK proposed marine monitoring programmes

We want your views on the proposed marine monitoring programmes. These will help us achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in our waters. The UK Marine Strategy covers 11 ecosystem components. In 2014, we published our monitoring programmes in the Marine Strategy Part Two. The consultation provides an update to the original Strategy. You have until 17 November to respond.

Whelk management measures 2020 – extension

We have extended our original consultation to gain your views on our proposed approach to conserve the Welsh whelk stock. We are proposing to introduce:

  •  an authorisation scheme for licenced and registered UK vessels fishing for whelks (Buccinum undatum) with pots in the Welsh zone;
  • an annual limit on the total amount of whelk that can be taken from the Welsh zone, and
  • a flexible monthly landing cap for authorised vessels.

You have until 1 November to respond.

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.

Find out more on the web:

Follow online: