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

Which marine spatial plans exist?

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
  • Makes provision 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

Mr. Marcus McAuley – Head of Marine Plan Team

Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Last updated: June 2020
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