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Northern Irish marine plan makes waves

Words: Roger Milne
Ballycastle on the Northern Ireland coast / Shutterstock_671536192

Consultation on the draft Marine Plan for Northern Ireland was launched this week by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The blueprint is designed to provide a new planning approach that supports the sustainable management of the Northern Ireland marine area.  

The proposals highlight the sustainable use of marine resources and the management of activities that include the natural heritage, energy, aquaculture, tourism and recreation.

The document builds on the policy framework outlined in the UK Marine Policy Statement and is designed to facilitate the integration of marine planning with land use planning.

It is supported by a publicly accessible Marine Mapviewer showing the uses and activities that currently take place off the coast.

Denis McMahon, permanent secretary at the department, said: “It is vital that we plan for and protect our marine area as we do with the land.
“Our seas are an important resource for many people. They provide a livelihood for fishing communities, are home to important marine wildlife and provide for our enjoyment and recreation.”

Image credit | Shutterstock