Oct 28, 2016

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published an issues database for the north west marine plan area

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published an issues database for the north west marine plan areas.


The database provides an update on progress on the marine planning process for these areas. The call for issues with supporting evidence ran from 30 June 2016 to 5 August 2016, supported by a series of workshops. The aim of the call was to gather information and evidence on the opportunities and challenges for the sustainable development of the north west marine plan area. A consultation summary is available which shows that more than 3000 individual comments were received from a wide range of national and local stakeholders across all marine plan areas. The response to the call has provided such a wealth of information that the MMO does not now consider it necessary to have a further round of formal consultation on issues this year.


Further analysis and development of issues will instead continue up until early 2017 when the MMO will consult stakeholders on the iteration 1 outputs. The outputs 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 marine plan areas they are invited to advise the MMO through, phone 0208 02 65325 or contact the coastal marine planner:

North West: Sam Wright
0208 2257 095
Solway Firth Partnership