The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) today releases the final marine plans for the East of England inshore and offshore areas, a total area of almost 60,000km. We’ve had land planning for over 60 years, but this is the first ever time an equivalent plan has been adopted for an area of our marine environment.
From the RSPB’s perspective, what was clear ten years ago is still clear now: sectoral management on its own has led to the continued and unsustainable depletion of natural resources, and to serious declines in the overall health of marine ecosystems.
For us, having a clear and spatial plan that recognises (to the best of our knowledge) where the most important places for seabirds and waterbirds are at different times of year, is a key step forward. It allows the MMO to use this information proactively to guide activities to avoid the worst impacts happening before they occur.