Predictions on the future of our seas off the South coast are outlined in a report published today by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The 'South marine plan areas futures analysis' gives a regional picture of how important activities and resources are expected to change, with a focus on both a 6 and 20-year snapshot.
Marine plans will inform and guide marine users and regulators, managing the sustainable development of marine industries, taking account of local communities and the need to protect leisure uses and the environment. There are 11 plans in total for the seas around England, and the South is the second area to benefit.
The report looked at past trends and expected future developments to make the projections, covering vital marine sectors such as wind energy, defence, tourism and recreation and working with a range of marine industries for their input. It also identifies gaps and data limitations underlying the projections.
Importantly, these future snapshots assume no intervention from marine planning to allow for a full picture of what could happen without the guidance planning will provide.
Head of Marine Planning, Paul Gilliland, said "The South marine plan areas are some of our busiest marine areas in Europe and this will only increase in the coming years with new technologies and more demands on our marine resources.
"This information will allow us to look at each sector and ensure we identify opportunities and potential conflicts as early as possible in planning."
This new publication is part of the MMO’s work to identify and fill knowledge gaps that marine planners, regulators and users currently face. This report is one of the key steps in providing a basis for MMO planners to develop a future picture of the South marine plan areas, in partnership with marine users.
Potential future trends were proposed for the South marine plan areas with confidence levels (high, moderate and low) on the certainty with which plans and projections are likely to happen.
These include new wind farms, increased tidal energy installations and more shipping activity.
Source: Marine Management Organisation