Northern Ireland

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

Offshore renewable energy Shipping
Ports Nature conservation
Fisheries Aquaculture
Military Scientific research
Coastal protection Cables and pipelines
Underwater cultural heritage Tourism and leisure

Others: Carbon Capture and Storage, Dredging Compressed Air Energy Storage, Underground Gas Storage Energy Transmission

Which marine spatial plans exist?

Draft Marine Plan for Northern Ireland, 2018

Legal framework

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009:

  • Provides for a statement of policy in the UK marine area, its preparation, review, amendment and withdrawal
  • Identifies the component regions within the UK marine area and provides for the creation of marine plans, their amendment, withdrawal and duty to keep relevant matters under review
  • Provides for the delegation of functions relating to marine plans, decisions affected by the marine policy statement or marine plan, monitoring and reporting

Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013:

  • Defines the geographical area to which the Act applies
  • Provides for the creation of marine plans in the Northern Ireland inshore region and sets out basic requirements as to their content and the way in which they are to be prepared; it also provides for their amendment, withdrawal and duty to keep relevant matters under review
  • The Act also makes about the effect which marine plans will have on certain decisions by public authorities, and the monitoring of and reporting on marine plans


Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Hugh Edwards – Acting Head of the Marine Plan Team

Last updated: July 2022
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