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National Snapshot of Marine Area to Aid Planning

07 August 2013

UK - A report on key marine activities has been published by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The Strategic Scoping Report (SSR) identifies natural resources and activities – both recreational and industrial – in England's marine area, and will inform marine plans that are being developed to shape the future of England's seas.

The SSR is a key document in the development of marine plans, helping the MMO to establish the distribution of activities, ecosystems and resources in each marine plan area before plans are formed.

The seas around England are vitally important to our nation. The UK marine economy is currently worth more than £47 billion annually, and has the potential to increase significantly.

England's seas also matter to people and wildlife. Marine plans will inform and guide marine users and regulators, managing the sustainable development of marine industries taking account of local communities and the need to protect leisure uses and the environment.

The report gives a national picture of the key activities and resources associated with each of England's marine plan areas – there are 11 in total with the East and South marine plans already underway. It pulls together existing information from a range of sources to provide planners with a national picture before making planning decisions at a regional level.

Paul Gilliland, Head of Marine Planning at the MMO, said: "Most activities and resources are not evenly distributed, and understanding the location and scale of a resource is critical to understanding the relative importance of that resource or activity for the marine plan."

This report is an update to the first SSR published in June 2011. This version contains updated and new maps, including new information on water and air quality.

There is also additional evidence after gaps were identified previously, which includes:

  • distribution, trends and value of inshore and offshore fisheries in England
  • spatial data on marine recreation activities
  • socio-economic benefits of marine planning for English coastal communities
  • climate change data
  • social and economic considerations
  • nuclear energy information
  • identifying biomass potential

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