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Eluned Jones (Chair) & Sarah Bound (Welsh Government), Adrian Judd (Cefas), Helen Bloomfield, Lee Murray & Lucie Skates (NRW), Stephen Jay (Liverpool University), Claire Stephenson (RSPB), Alex Curd (MMO), Dr Julian Wainwright (RCAHMW), Emma Thorpe (JNCC), Katie Havard-Smith (Severn Estuary Partnership), Mark Russell (BMAPA), Mike Butterfield & Phil Horton (RYA), Nick Salter (MCGA), Rosie Kelly (TCE), Stephen Thompson (MEW) & Thomas Fey (JNCC).

1. Overview of marine planning products

Eluned Jones welcomed members and introduced:

Paper 1 - Overview of marine planning products:

A directory of current and developing marine planning documents and tools which was circulated with the agenda prior to the meeting.

2. Experiencing the sea: marine planners’ tentative engagement with their planning milieu

Stephen Jay from Liverpool University presented research undertaken in 2020 on marine planner’ engagement with their planning milieu.  Stephen interviewed 11 professionals working in marine science and planning / policy to explore: Personal and professional experience of the sea; The necessity of experience of the sea; Improving knowledge of the sea, team experience and thinking and acting like the sea.

Stephen invited the group to discuss the outputs of his research.  Mark Russell shared his observations of there being a huge difference in scale between marine and terrestrial planning, which can be underrated. Mark also emphasised the need for distances to be made relatable and also highlighted that marine planning often covers multiple issues and uses, unlike terrestrial planning.

A link to the research can be found within Planning Practises and Research

3. Systems Approach / Cumulative effects

Adrian Judd (Cefas) gave a presentation describing the systems approach to cumulative effects assessment developed and applied in the OSPAR Quality Status Report (QSR) 2023. The approach encapsulates the ecosystem approach by considering the multiple and interlinked connections between Drivers – Activities – Pressures – State Changes – Impacts on Ecosystem Services – Management Responses (DAPSIR). The DAPSIR framework combines consideration of risk (via Bow Ties Analyses) and exposure, impact and severity (via the ODEMM methodology). The approach has synergies with natural capital based assessments and applies weightings to identify those human activity and pressure combinations of greatest concern and therefore meriting priority action. The outputs have been agreed with the OSPAR Expert Groups and are now being approved by the Biodiversity Committee for inclusion in the QSR to be published in summer 2023.

Phil Horton asked if there were any surprises when going through the process or were the focus group’s initial expectations about the nature of the major impacts in line with the findings?  Adrian confirmed that mostly the findings matched directly what the focus group had anticipated but a confidence assessment was applied.

Phil further queried whether, in preparing the quality status report, consideration is also given to whether the actions being taken are actually going to improve the situation or whether it’s purely a factual report on the current status.  Adrian advised that, while assessments are largely factual only, a systems approach has been taken to help with considering impact.

Thomas Fey asked, in relation to the 5 elements, how frequency is gauged?  Adrian confirmed that the frequency is purely based on human activity.

For those with any queries on the presentation or wishing to receive information on the development of the work, messages can be forwarded via

4. NRW mapping of environmental considerations

Lee Murray presented the latest outputs from NRW’s mapping of environmental considerations in the Welsh marine plan area and talked through some examples of the data and options for how it might be presented.  Lee noted that NRW are considering the best way of displaying the mapping and allowing users to view and search maps and underlying data; for example as an interactive online resource.  He requested feedback from the group on how they would like the mapping and data displayed to make it user friendly.  Lee also updated the group on the next steps, noting the ongoing need to continue updating the mapping with new datasets, as well doing more work around confidence levels, capturing physical processes and WFD and feature conditions.

Stephen asked how conservation importance was assessed.  Both Lee and Lucie Skates advised that it was assessed through expert judgement aligned to the current legislative framework.

For those with any queries or feedback on the presentation, please contact and

5. Any other business and next meeting

Helen Bloomfield informed to the group of the success of the recent NRW marine and coastal historical environment training event.  The event was very well attended and featured a number of expert external presenters.  Please contact Helen directly via the email address above if you’re interested in receiving information from the event.

Eluned invited suggestions for presentations at the next MPSRG meeting.

Next meeting – proposed late April / early May 2023

Queries to: