ISMF Virtual Conference – Conference recording now available

The Irish Sea Maritime Forum virtual conference took place last month on the 22nd of November and was a great success, attended by around 70 people from the Irish Sea region and beyond.

Firstly a huge thank you to all of our wonderful speakers for their insightful presentations on the planning and ecological activities which have been taking place in the Irish Sea.

After requests from those who were unable to attend the event on the day we have decided to make the recording of the event available on our YouTube Channel and you can access the recording here

A Full Summary of the event and access to the presentations delivered will be added to the website soon, so please watch this space!

ISMF Secretariat

ISMF Virtual Conference

Marine Planning in the Irish Sea: An Update

ISMF event flyer 2023 Final

Full Conference Programme now released

The Irish Sea Maritime Forum is pleased to announce we are holding a short virtual event on Wednesday 22nd November from 2pm-4pm.

As we work towards planning an in-person conference for 2024, the aim of this session is to provide an update on marine planning and governance across the Irish Sea since our last event. In particular, the speakers will provide updates on progress of national Marine Spatial Plans. We will have presentations from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Marine Scotland, the Northern Ireland Marine Plan Team (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs),the Marine Planning Policy and Legislation team of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Ireland), Welsh Government, Isle of Man government, and the Irish Sea Network.
To register for the conference please click here

The full conference programme is now available for download ISMF Virtual Conference Programme Nov 23 – final

This conference is free of charge

ISMF Virtual Conference Postponed until 7th October 2022!

In light of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and as a mark of respect to the National Mourning period of the UK, it was decided at this morning’s scheduled committee meeting, that we should postpone the virtual conference until Friday 7th October 10.00 – 13.00. We feel that because of the exceptional circumstances, and with the nature of the virtual conference, it offers the flexibility to be rescheduled.

The Irish Sea Maritime Forum is pleased to announce we are holding a half day virtual conference: MSP in the Irish Sea: Where are we now? on.

The aim of the conference is to bring together stakeholders from across the Irish Sea and update them on the progress of national Marine Spatial Plans over the last two years. This is the first Irish Sea Maritime Forum event since our last conference in Cardiff January 2019 and we look forward to welcoming people from all around the Irish Sea.

More information including how to register for the event can be found in the flyer below:

ISMF event flyer 2022 Final

The Future and Changing Context of the Irish Sea in the 2020s – Report Available

Over the summer of 2020 the Irish Sea Maritime Forum, supported by the University of Liverpool, conducted an online survey to develop a comprehensive picture of the future for the Irish Sea and its communities on a whole Irish Sea scale.

The aim of the survey was to discover and extend understanding of what makes the Irish Sea special for those who use it or live around it, identifying both challenges and opportunities, now and looking forward, for the Irish Sea’s businesses, communities and environment. To explore these questions a thematic approach was taken, but with the understanding that many issues are cross-cutting, particularly themes such as climate change.

The Executive Summary and Full Report are now available for download.

More information can be found here

SIMAtlantic conference: Lessons from the European Atlantic for implementation of maritime spatial planning in transboundary contexts

The SIMAtlantic conference is a free-to-attend online event taking place on 15 September 2021. The aim of the conference is to share learning and best practice from the SIMAtlantic project and elsewhere around Europe, to assist in shaping future cooperation and coherence in maritime spatial planning (MSP).

Sessions are aimed at a wide audience from researchers to policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders, while including everyone who shares an interest in maritime spatial planning, particularly the benefits and challenges of transboundary working. Session topics include governance, data sharing and communication, ecosystem-based management, and land-sea interactions, all in the context of transboundary MSP.

Choose your own schedule – from one session to a full day – when you register at

Shared Visions for Marine Planning Insights from Israel, South Africa & the United Kingdom online workshop

Shared Visions for Marine Planning
Insights from Israel, South Africa & the United Kingdom

9th & 10th March 2021
09.00-13.00 on both days (UK time)

This interactive workshop is being organised by Israel Institute of Technology (Technion),
Nelson Mandela University, and Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO).
It will bring together authorities, researchers and practitioners covering the themes of:

Geospatial technologies
Relationships between marine planning, marine protected areas and Ecosystem Based Management
Multi-disciplinary and cross institutional collaboration
Roundtable discussions: Enlisting interdisciplinary collaboration for improved marine management

The three main topics will be covered through ten-minute presentations
followed by Q&A and discussion

The event will be held online on Zoom
Registration is free
To register please go to

For further details and full agenda please visit the Event page or please contact:

We look forward to seeing you online!

Happy New Year from the ISMF

Happy New Year from the ISMF! We hope you are all coped what was a challenging 2020 and what continues to be a challenging 2021. Despite all of the challenges faced over the past year a number of exciting activities took place in the Irish Sea over the past year, including consultations run on England’s Draft North West Inshore and Offshore Plans, Consultation on Ireland’s Draft Marine Planning Framework, and a survey on Ireland’s Seascapes run by the Marine Institute. ISMF members were also involved in a number of conferences and events which due to restrictions had to be held online, which notwithstanding the challenges faced proved to be hugely successful and informative. November saw a number of events organised by the CCAT project; the ESRC Festival of Science 2020: Exploring the impact of climate change in coastal communities in Ireland and Wales and the Coastal Communities Adapting Together Exchanging Knowledge and Best Practice Across Borders Conference. Both of which were well attended and of great interest. Links to live recordings of both events are available via the links above. The Solway Firth Partnership produced a number of fascinating digital resources available to view via their website and YouTube channel, providing much needed access to the coast from home during these difficult times.

We are sure that despite continuing restrictions there will still be plenty going on in the Irish Sea in 2021 and we very much look forward to all of the upcoming activities. The results of the Irish Sea Survey conducted last year are soon to be published and we can’t wait share these with you in our Spring newsletter. If you have any news or events you would like published in our upcoming newsletter or highlighted on the website please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing

Keep safe,

ISMF Secretariat

Ireland Seascape survey launched

Would you like to help identify, classify and describe Ireland’s seascape character? If so, your participation in a study seeking to deepen understanding of Ireland’s Seascapes Character would be very welcome. The survey responses will help identify, classify and describe Ireland’s seascape character, and support the implementation of Ireland’s National Marine Planning Framework.

In addition to the online survey, the research team welcomes the opportunity to facilitate small group based discussions on the draft Seascape Character Areas over the month of July, using online resources. If you are interested in getting involved, please register your interest (Name/interest/organisation) by emailing

For more information please visit the Marine Institute website. The survey can be accessed here.

Survey for the Irish Sea – Deadline extended 7th September 2020!

The Irish Sea Maritime Forum, supported by the University of Liverpool, is conducting an Irish-sea wide survey to look to the future and the changing context of the Irish Sea in the 2020s. We want to develop a comprehensive picture of the future for the Irish Sea and its communities on a whole Irish Sea scale by asking about current and future issues and opportunities, key Irish Sea projects, and what Brexit and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic might mean for the Irish Sea and its communities. The survey draws on the 2013 Irish Sea Issues and Opportunities Report and the 2015 Blue Growth Prospectus, both of which were developed with wide stakeholder input, and results will be presented at the 2021 Irish Sea Maritime Forum conference on the Isle of Man (date tba). We welcome responses from all sectors and communities around the Irish Sea. More background information can be found here. Please feel free to share the survey with others. You can access the survey by following this link.