NW Marine Plan – Issues Database and Issues with Supporting Evidence Consultation Summary now available from MMO

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published an issues database for the North West, North East, South East and South West Marine Plan areas.

The database has been published following a call for issues with supporting evidence which ran from 30 June 2016 to 5 August 2016 and was supported by a series of workshops, including 2 here in the North West. The aim of this call was to gather information and evidence on the opportunities and challenges for the sustainable development of the new Marine Plan areas. More than 3000 comments were received from a wide range of stakeholders and a consultation summary is now available. So much information was provided in response to the call that the MMO does not now consider it necessary to have a further round of formal consultation on issues this year.

The MMO will continue with further analysis and development of issues until early 2017 when a further round of consultation will take place on the iteration 1 outputs, which are currently planned to include the full list of issues, those identified as being common to more than one plan area and initial policy responses (developed from the East and South marine planning processes) that the MMO proposes to address the common issues.

The planning team collated the comments from the call into the database and has begun analysing them to frame issues to take forward in the planning process. Where multiple comments were received about a related issue, for example marine litter or the integration of terrestrial and marine plans, these were combined and duplicates were removed. Issues in the database have been assigned to their most appropriate theme (Economic, Environment, Social or Governance) and plan area. In some cases issues related to more than one, or all, plan areas and they have been marked as such in the Database.

The evidence that supports the issues is varied, ranging from anecdotal comments to quality assured evidence projects. Quality assurance and follow-up of the evidence sources will be an ongoing process as analysis of the issues continues. However, as part of our early analysis the evidence has been assigned a confidence rating as follows evidence listed as:

  • high (H) has been quality assured for use in marine plans
  • medium (M) is a published report/data/plan that has not been quality assured for use in marine plans, but a level of confidence exists as it has been published.
  • low (L) comes from unpublished sources, such as anecdotal comments and requires both follow-up and quality assurance.

The MMO is, therefore, not consulting on the database in advance of iteration 1 outputs. However, if stakeholders have further evidence on issues in the North West, North East, South East and South West marine plan areas they are invited to advise the MMO through [email protected], phone 0208 02 65325 by contacting the following coastal marine planners:

North West: Sam Wright
0208 2257 095

North East: Milly Metcalfe 
0208 2257 094

South East: Pete Cosgrove
0208 0267 865

South West: Neal Gray
0208 2256 647

South West: Nick Boase
0208 2257 066

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