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Eluned Jones, Phil Coates & Sarah Bound (Welsh Government), Adrian Judd & Rachel Mulholland (Cefas), Lucie Skates, Karen Perrow, Helen Bloomfield & Lee Murray (NRW), Mike Butterfield (RYA Cymru), Emma Harrison (Crown Estate), Emily Williams & Claire Stephenson (RSPB), Kam Tang (Swansea University), Stephen Jay (University of Liverpool), Jetske Germing (PCF), Alys Morris & Katie Havard-Smith (Severn Estuary Partnership), Clare Trotman (MCS), Alex Curd (MMO), Dr Julian Whitewright (RCAHMW), Jim Evans (WFA), John Wrottesley (ESCA), Sarah Canning & Thomas Fey (JNCC), David Jones (Blue Gem Wind), Eunice Pinn (Seafish), Mark Simmonds (BPA), David Harding (BMAPA)

1. Welcome

Eluned welcomed the group which included a number of new members since the last meeting in November 2020. Eluned gave a high level overview of Marine Planning developments over the past 12 months.

2. Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources (SMMNR) Storyboards Showcase

Lee gave an overview of the interactive environmental mapping and evidence packages which have been developed for the following sectors - Tidal Stream, Aquaculture and Wave Energy. This online resource was developed by ABPmer through the EMFF funded SMMNR project. Members welcomed the evidence packages and agreed that they are a useful resource. Members also expressed interest in arrangements for the further development of the evidence packages, which is discussed under item 4: Mapping of Environmental Considerations.

3. Sector Locational Guidance (SLG)

Rachel gave an update on the development of SLG. Welsh Government is finalising SLG for the Aquaculture, Wave Energy and Tidal Stream sectors, using the reports produced by Atkins, incorporating outputs from the SMMNR project and adding in policy context from the WNMP and Implementation Guidance. The Wave Energy and Tidal Stream SLG will be published later this year, with the Aquaculture SLG following in the new year.

4. Mapping of Environmental Considerations

Lee presented an overview of work being taken forward by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), in response to a formal request from Welsh Government, to develop sector-specific ecological evidence and mapping. The work includes the continuation and development of SMMNR work, with an initial focus on undertaking mapping of environmental considerations and developing evidence to feed into SRA development work. Members welcomed this initiative and offered to share evidence to inform the mapping of environmental considerations. Lee will regularly update the group on this work.

5. Development of Strategic Resource Areas (SRAs)

Welsh Government documents, developed with input from the group and setting out the context for and high-level approach to the development of SRAs, have recently been published.

Adrian updated the group on proposals to procure work to map and identify potential SRAs for consideration by Welsh Government. He provided an overview of key issues to be considered as part of this process and emphasised the importance of stakeholder engagement informing and underpinning the work.

The group discussed the approach to SRA development. Members welcomed the approach and offered to input into the work. Members recognised the rationale for the proposed focus sectors (emerging renewable energy technologies, including wave energy and tidal stream), aggregates and aquaculture and that the approach of focusing initially on these sectors is sensible. Members discussed the availability of evidence to inform the work, the approach to weighting constraints to inform mapping of potential SRA boundaries and ensuring liaison with relevant wider initiatives.

6. A.O.B and Next Meeting

There was no other business. Eluned thanked the group for attending and invited members to forward any suggestions for topics for discussion at future meetings, including inviting members to present on relevant projects or initiatives which they’re taking forward. Eluned noted that the next meeting will be held in November and proposed that future meetings would focus on discussing specific topics, with opportunity for the group to actively discuss and input into work.