The Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government will host a public consultation event in March/April in Bantry on the Draft National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) – the roadmap setting out the plan for the use of Ireland’s seas and marine resources over the coming decades. Everyone will be welcome to attend and to take part. This will be of interest to many people in West Cork in light of our vast coastline, our marine economy, and the environmental campaigns that are ongoing, including ‘Bantry Bay – Protect our Native Kelp Forest’ and ‘Save Bantry Bay.’ It will be an opportunity for raising issues that will effect West Cork’s environment and economy for decades to come such as policies in respect of aquaculture, defence, energy, fisheries, mining and aggregates, ports harbours and shipping, telecommunications cables, tourism, safety at sea, sport and recreation, and waste-water treatment and disposal.
The Draft National Marine Planning Framework is Ireland’s first marine planning framework and it applies to a broad range of marine activities including aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, sea fisheries and tourism. It provides a long-term framework for effective management of marine activities and more sustainable use of our marine resources. It is intended to enable Government to set a clear direction for managing our seas, clarify objectives and priorities, and direct decision makers, users and stakeholders towards more strategic, plan-led and efficient use of marine resources. Ireland and other EU coastal states are obliged to establish these marine spatial plans by 2021 under an EU directive. This single national marine plan will apply to Ireland’s entire maritime area, extending from mean high water mark on the coast to the 200 mile limits of the exclusive economic zone and Continental Shelf.
The Department is inviting submissions on the Draft NMPF. The consultation period closes at 12:00 noon on Thursday April 9, 2020. Interested parties should check their website for all details.