Country information

Basic facts on marine waters
  • Territorial sea (12 nm zone): 51,709.16 km²
  • Exclusive Economic Zone: 178,591.46 km²
National practices

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

Offshore renewable energy Shipping
Ports Nature conservation
Fisheries Aquaculture
Military Scientific research
Coastal protection Oil and gas
Cables and pipelines Tourism and leisure
Underwater cultural heritage Marine aggregates extraction
Dredging and disposal of dredged materials

Which marine spatial plans exist?

Legal framework

Marine planning is a requirement under Part 3 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This act details the relevant marine planning authorities for England (the Marine Management Organisation has delegated functions from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the requirement to prepare a Marine Policy Statement, and the process under which the plans should be approved, implemented, reviewed and amended/replaced.

Marine planning functions for the Scottish and Welsh marine areas have been devolved to Scottish and Welsh governments, respectively.


Marine Management Organisation

Mr. Paul Gilliland – Head of Marine Planning

Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Last updated: April 2020
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