The Marine Environment
The seas and coast of Wales are extremely important to the Welsh way of life. 60% of the Welsh population live and work in the coastal zone. 70% of the Welsh coastline is recognised for its environmental importance and beauty with three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Wales.
Wales is highly dependent on the trade, tourism and fishing industry that our seas provide. So we need to move towards a system that considers the effects of all activities on marine environments.
Wales also recognises the need to adapt to climate change. So there is an increased interest in the development of marine renewable energy.
Protecting and sustainably developing Wales’ seas is essential. We need to manage the marine environment in a way that promotes conservation and sustainable use. The marine environment around Wales needs to be valued by all, understood and respected for what it contains and provides.
Our key aim is set out in The Environment Strategy for Wales.
Our seas will be clean, support vibrant economies and healthy and functioning ecosystems that are biologically diverse, productive and resilient, while being sensitively used and responsibly managed.
Our Environment Strategy is available on the right hand side of this page.
Our vision is also set out in Our Seas – a Shared Resource – UK High Level Marine Objectives published on 20 April 2009. This document is also available on the right hand side.
We help develop and deliver policies and administer a marine licensing system which protects and promotes the sustainable use of our marine environment.
Our responsibilities include:
- Marine Spatial Planning;
- Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM);
- Marine Conservation and Biodiversity inshore;
- Marine Licensing;
- Implementing the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009; and
- Implementing the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
We work closely with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).
We also work with The Wales Coastal and Maritime Partnership (WCMP). WCMP is a stakeholder group that advises us on sustainable development in Welsh seas and coastal areas. It facilitates the exchange of information and dissemination of good practice.