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Marine Environment Raised By More Than Half Of Submissions On New Planning Framework

5th February 2019
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Marine Environment Raised By More Than Half Of Submissions On New Planning Framework

More than half of submissions (53%) in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

Ports and shipping (44%), climate change (42%) and nature conservation (41%) were other important topics raised among the 173 submissions received by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government from a wide range of stakeholders.

Published late last year, the baseline report aimed to bring together a clear picture of all activity in Ireland’s seas for the first time.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, representatives from all key sectors comprise an advisory group overseeing the process.

In its preliminary analysis of responses, the department also identified renewable energy, aquaculture and fisheries, seaweed harvesting, cultural heritage and assets, and consents and licensing as other areas of importance to a cohort of stakeholders that runs from public sector bodies to local authorities, coastal community groups and sports bodies.

One of the key questions asked of respondents regarded Ireland’s future approach to spatial designation marine planning, with the vast majority of the 57 who expressed a preference opting for either a policy-led plan (44%) or a hybrid of policy and zoning (40%).

The proposal for a National Marine Planning Framework has been broadly welcomed by respondents, with the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) describing it as “the most significant shift in Irish marine policy for several decades” while adding that the economic contribution of sport and recreational boating, including marine tourism, has thus far been largely underestimated, and related policy should be fully integrated in any plan.

The IMF also raised the question of spatial planning in relation to Brexit, with lack of resolution of boundary issues over the likes of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough “a matter of great concern”.

All responses to the public consultation have been collected HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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