South Coast next marine planning area
The coast and seas from Dover to the River Dart in Devon has been announced as the second area in England for marine planning.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has said that marine plans will inform and guide marine users and regulators, managing the sustainable development of marine industries, such as wind farms, shipping, marine aggregates and fishing, alongside the need to conserve and protect marine species and habitats and recognise leisure uses too.
The marine economy is currently worth more than £47 billion annually to the UK, and has the potential to increase significantly. The UK is the first country in the world to plan across all marine activities, for all its territorial waters, and the plan areas announced are two of the 10 in total to be delivered by the MMO in the next decade.
Steve Brooker, the MMO’s head of Marine Planning, said: “England’s South Inshore and South Offshore marine areas were chosen for their wide range of marine activities that need to co-exist in these busy waters. These marine areas are identified as environmentally sensitive so it is vitally important that new activities are introduced in a sustainable way, ensuring that social, environmental and economic implications are considered together.
“As the demand for space increases, so will the need for use of our seas as a key resource. This is an ideal time for marine planning to begin in these areas, to ensure there is a clear framework for sustainable development. ”
The MMO says that the views of all those with an interest in the South marine areas are vital to the plan making process, and the next step will be speaking to as many people as possible affected by these plans. A guide on how to get involved will be published before plan-making officially starts in early 2013.