Save the Date – ISMF Biennial Conference

We are pleased to announce that the Irish Sea Maritime Forum’s Biennial Conference will take place this year on Wednesday 28th September at the dlr LexIcon, Dun Laoghaire, Republic of Ireland. The main themes for the conference will be Maritime Spatial Planning and Policies for a Dynamic Coast. The conference is being held one day after DG MARE’s Atlantic Stakeholder Platform event which takes place in Croke Park, Dublin.

Further information on the ISMF conference and how to register will appear here shortly.

Sea Scotland Conference

The Inaugural Sea Scotland Conference will take place in Dundee on 15th-16th June 2016. This aims to bring together 150 stakeholders for Scotland-focussed dialogue and knowledge exchange to support a progressive approach to marine planning. The Conference will feature talks (including one from Charles Ehler of Ocean Visions Consulting), presentations and opportunities for networking with other organisations. For further information on the event and registration click HERE.

Irish Consultation on draft Regulations to transpose the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive into law

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has recently opened an online consultation on draft regulations intended to transpose the European Union’s Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (2014/89/EU) into national law. The Directive obliges all coastal Member States to establish maritime spatial plans by 2021. Member States must transpose the Directive into national law by 18th September 2016.

DECLG is now inviting submissions on the draft regulations and have prepared a guidance document showing the relationship between the articles of the Directive and the regulations.This consultation on the transposing regulations is the first of a number of opportunities for participation that will arise during the MSP life cycle. Further details on the consultation, documents and where to send comments can be found on the DECLG website. This consultation will close on Friday 6th May 2016.

Marine Planning in North West England – Drop-In Events

As part of the roll-out of new Marine Plans for the North West of England a number of drop-in events for members of the public to attend are being held by the Marine Management Organisation from 18th-20th April. The events are an introduction to marine planning, for you to meet your local marine planner and to find out more about what marine planning involves, and how you can get involved. The MMO will also be demonstrating their Marine Information System and the evidence base where you can view some of the evidence they have already gathered for your area.

The events are open sessions, including a number of scheduled presentations on marine planning. These will be held hourly, beginning at the start times shown below.

As part of the events you will also be able to find out more about our consultations on the Statement of Public Participation and the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report. The Statement of Participation includes details on how and when and to whom the MMO will engage with through the marine planning process. The Sustainability Appraisal assesses the social, economic and environmental impacts of a marine plan.

To find out more details and to register please click HERE

(Similar events are also being held for the North East, South East and South West Marine Plan areas)

Marine in Planning in England: Latest from the MMO

In their latest Marine Developments blog, the Marine Management Organisation has begun to set out how it will undertake the process of developing marine plans for the remaining English regions – this includes the Irish Sea-facing area of North West England. Marine plans for the remaining four areas (North West, South West, North East and South East) will be prepared simultaneously, with consultation on Statements of Public Participation and Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Reports expected to begin in April. You can read the full blog from the MMO here. We will provide more updates on marine planning in the North West as the process gathers pace.

New Board Members sought for North West IFCA

The Marine Management Organisation are currently recruiting two new voluntary Board Members for the North West England Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

The members of the IFCA contribute their knowledge and experience to provide sustainable management of the inshore marine area of their IFCA district. They guide the IFCA to deliver its mandate under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and in line with Defra guidance.

Details of the application process and criteria for the appointments can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/marine-management-organisation/about/recruitment.  The closing date for applications is 15th February 2016.

Irish Consultation on Measures for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Launched

On 27th November Mr Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, welcomed the publication of a public consultation document entitled ‘Marine Strategy Framework Directive Ireland Programme of Measures Public Consultation Document’. This document presents the elements being considered by Ireland for inclusion in a finalised Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) National Programme of Measures, the objective of which is to achieve good environmental status (GES) in Irish marine waters.

The overall aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to achieve or maintain GES of the European Union’s marine environment by 2020.

The finalised Programme of Measures proposal is due to be submitted to the European Commission by 31 March 2016.

The Minister said that the purpose of the public consultation process is to foster community engagement with, and to heighten awareness of, the aims of MSFD and its on-going implementation in Ireland. A Public consultation process has already been completed in relation to the ‘Initial Assessment’ and ‘Monitoring Programme’ phases of the Directive and input from interested parties is now welcome in relation to the actions needed to achieve compliance with provisions of the Directive.

Submissions and comments are invited on the draft Programme of Measures, on or before Friday, 29 January 2016. A dedicated email address, msfd@environ.ie has been set up to facilitate feedback from stakeholders including eNGOs, industry, the general public and other interested parties.

Further information on the consultation and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive click HERE.

Implementing the Atlantic Action Plan – 2nd UK National Workshop on Funding and Project Development

Wednesday 9th December 2015
Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool

Organisers: DG MARE, Irish Sea Maritime Forum and the UK Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan.

This free-to-attend event will provide an update on the Atlantic Action Plan and the role of the UK Support Team in assisting stakeholders to develop project ideas for funding, an update of those funding opportunities (including INTERREG) and an update on blue growth in the UK. Contact points for funding bodies will be present at this event, and participants will also have the opportunity to meet other stakeholders with an interest in developing projects of relevance to the Atlantic Area. The afternoon will consist of parallel workshops and the organisers are seeking expressions of interest from stakeholders wishing to organise/contribute to the workshop sessions.

For more information and to register your place follow this link.

Background to the event:

The UK has huge potential for blue growth, both in creating jobs and contributing to economic development. The European Commission’s Atlantic Strategy is all about capitalising on these opportunities – the aim is to create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the ‘blue economy’ whilst preserving the environmental and ecological stability of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Action Plan is designed to help stakeholders implement the aspirations of the Atlantic Strategy.

In 2014 the Irish Sea Maritime Forum ran its Annual Conference on the theme of Blue Growth. This brought people together to discuss and explore project opportunities, and resulting in the development of a Blue Growth Project Prospectus. This Prospectus outlines some of the key ideas discussed at the Conference and calls for expressions of interest in taking the ideas forward into concrete funding bids.

Survey – What do you like most about Wirral’s Coast?

We would like to invite you to take part in a survey exploring residents’ and visitors’ views on Wirral’s coast. The results will help us to understand what people value most about Wirral’s coast and the environmental issues it faces. The survey, which is being organised by the University of Liverpool and the North West Coastal Forum with the help of Wirral Council, is being carried out as part of the work of the Celtic Seas Partnership project which brings people together to help achieve healthy and sustainable seas.

You can access the survey here or request a paper version by calling 0151 934 2966.

The survey will close on Monday 2nd November 2015.

The Celtic Seas Partnership is an EC LIFE+ project with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community. It is afour year project, running from January 2013 to December 2016. WWF-UK is the lead with partners the University of Liverpool, Eastern and Midland Regional Authority, the Natural Environment Research Council and SeaWeb Europe. Project number: LIFE11/ENV/UK/392.

Celtic Seas Partnership England Workshop, 19th November, Bristol

The Celtic Seas Partnership is holding a 2nd round of national workshops over Autumn 2015. These workshops will enable participants to hear updates on the project’s work to support the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, including task group initiatives and case studies. There will also be an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss a range of issues impacting on the future of the Celtic Seas. So far workshops have taken place in Northern Ireland (1st October) and the Republic of Ireland (7th October), with other workshops planned for England, Scotland, Wales and France.

The workshop for England takes place in Bristol on Thursday 19th November 2015 and includes an optional pre-workshop field visit to the Port of Bristol on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th November which is shared with the Coastal Partnerships Network Annual Forum 2015.

For more details and to book your place please follow this link or contact Caroline Salthouse, North West England Stakeholder Engagement Officer for the Celtic Seas Partnership Project: Caroline.Salthouse@sefton.gov.uk

If you are interested in attending any of the other remaining workshops please contact the Celtic Seas Partnership via this link.

The Celtic Seas Partnership is an EC LIFE+ project with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community. It is afour year project, running from January 2013 to December 2016. WWF-UK is the lead with partners the University of Liverpool, Eastern and Midland Regional Authority, the Natural Environment Research Council and SeaWeb Europe. Project number: LIFE11/ENV/UK/392.