Marine Planning

CuttlefishCuttlefish by Polly Whyte

The Marine Acts brought in wide-ranging new powers to plan, licence and manage the marine industry. Only if these powers are used in a coherent way, putting the health of the marine environment at the heart of decision-making, will they bring about a return to Living Seas.

Wildlife Trusts Wales is engaged with the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as they are currently consulting on the first Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP). This will govern and provide the policy for all the marine activities that occur in Welsh waters, including fisheries, marine renewables and recreational activities. The first WNMP is due to come into effect by the end of 2015 and will be reviewed and updated every six years.

The Wildlife Trusts advise developers, including the rapidly-growing offshore windfarm industry, to make sure that development is wildlife-friendly. North Wales Wildlife Trust is currently trying to learn more about harbour porpoises and other marine mammals around the Anglesey coast to ensure that proposed energy projects and other coastal developments do not cause harm. Gwent Wildlife Trust regularly liaises with developers regarding plans along the Severn Estuary and Gwent Levels, whilst seabird tracking research undertaken on The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Skomer Island will help ensure that offshore development takes account of seabird movements throughout the year.