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Welsh National Marine Plan: Implementation Guidance.


The Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) is the first Marine Plan for Welsh Waters. It sets out the Welsh Government’s vision and objectives for the Welsh marine plan area and policies to support their achievement, helping marine users and those undertaking land-based activities (with the potential to affect the plan area) to support the sustainable development of our seas. The WNMP supports sustainable development by guiding and supporting effective, proportionate and consistent decision making. The WNMP will apply to all decisions with the potential to affect the marine plan area. In this context, decision makers are defined as the (Relevant) Public Bodies or Relevant Public Authorities (RPAs) who make decisions relating to the marine area. The Guidance provides details of Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) policies and how to apply them.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What is the WNMP Implementation Guidance? 
  • Who should use the WNMP Implementation Guidance? 


This guide should ensure that WNMP policies are implemented effectively and consistently. It should be used in conjunction with the WNMP.


The WNMP provides an integrated set of objectives and policies for the sustainable development of Wales’ marine plan area.


The WNMP and IG  provide links to other legislation and forms of guidance where relevant. Further information and supporting material is also available from:

  • The WNMP Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment reports and other WNMP impact assessments;
  • Strategic evidence, for example the Wales Marine Evidence Report (WMER) and the State of Natural Resources Report;
  • The Wales Marine Planning Portal2 and neighbouring marine plan evidence portals or databases;
  • Topic specific Welsh Government Marine Planning Notices (MPNs) which provide supplementary technical detail to inform WNMP implementation;
  • Related and relevant policy and guidance;
  • The WNMP Monitoring and Reporting Framework and monitoring reports.


This supplementary Implementation Guide (IG) supports the WNMP and is a point of reference for Public Authorities when making decisions which may affect the plan area. It provides further detail on WNMP policies to help ensure they are implemented effectively and consistently; it does not introduce new planning policy. This IG sits alongside other non-statutory plan related policy, guides and evidence to support marine planning for Wales and will be updated periodically.


The National Marine Plan is developed for Wales and is not applicable to other regions.

Responsible Entity: 

Welsh Government

Costs / Funding Source: 

Welsh Government

Contact person: 

Welsh Government