The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has launched a ‘Call for Issues with Supporting Evidence’ for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas.

The MMO says local, specialist and industry knowledge is critical to developing meaningful and tailored marine plans.

The call is the start of a conversation with stakeholders about what the opportunities, challenges and needs are for the marine plan areas over the next 20 years. It also is looking to gather evidence to support these issues.

A survey will be online until Friday 5 August 2016. The MMO has produced information on each of the marine plan areas.

Please read the information for your area before responding to the survey at


As part of the call, the MMO is holding a number of workshops in July. The workshops started in this week in the North East, and will continue across the marine plan areas ending in Colchester on Wednesday 27 July.

For more details and to register your interest in a workshop please visit the MMO’s Eventbrite pages.

Forthcoming workshops:

North West:

  • Kendal: Tuesday 12 July, Castle Green Hotel 10am to 4pm
  • Liverpool: Wednesday 13 July, Radisson Blu Hotel 10am to 4pm

South West:

  • Plymouth: Tuesday 19 July, National Marine Aquarium 10am to 4pm
  • Bristol: Wednesday 20 July, Colston Hall 10am to 4pm
  • Falmouth: Thursday 21 July National Maritime Museum 10am to 4pm

South East:

  • London: Tuesday 26 July Kings College 10am to 4pm
  • Colchester: Wednesday 27 July, West Western 10am to 4pm


An issue is an opportunity or a challenge to the marine plan area, that is likely to drive change (such as port infrastructure), or be affected by change (such as climate change) over the 20 years the marine plans cover. It must also be something that can be addressed, at least in part, by marine planning.

Issues must be supported by evidence. Evidence includes a wide range of types and sources including:

  • social, economic or environmental data
  • academic research
  • government policy
  • expert opinion

Marine planning evidence base

Evidence gathered as part of the development of the marine plans is published on the MMO’s marine planning evidence base.

  • there are 11 English marine plan areas, including inshore and offshore areas. Each area will be covered by a marine plan by 2021 with a 20 year view of activities
  • marine planning addresses the key issues for the marine area, including the coast, estuaries and tidal waters, as well as developments that impact on these areas. The plans will include a vision, objectives and detailed policies on how these objectives will be achieved.
  • marine plans are used by public authorities as part of the decision making process for all new activities and developments in or affecting the marine area.
  • marine plans build on the requirements of the Marine and Coastal Access Act and the Marine Policy Statement.
  • more information on marine plans is available here.

What’s next?
All issues and supporting evidence will be collated and considered by the marine planning team. The information gathered will be used to develop the issues and supporting evidence for each marine plan area. This information will be published for consultation in Autumn 2016.

For more information or advice on issues and evidence, please email