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Manx marine environmental assessment

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Manx Marine Environmental Assessment has been prepared to bring together baseline information currently available for Manx territorial waters. This project is jointly funded by the Departments of Infrastructure, Economic Development and Environment, Food and Agriculture and provides local information in a technical report to inform future management decisions in Manx waters. The report covers a wide range of topics including:

  • Infrastructure – cables and pipelines, shipping
  • Marine ecology/biodiversity - habitats and species
  • Industry - fisheries, renewable energy opportunites

Over 150 groups and individuals working in partnership, including Government Officers, marine experts and local organisations, have contributed towards the project by bringing together information on Manx waters in an accessible format. As part of the project, locations of key habitats and species, Manx shipwrecks and cables and pipelines have been mapped.

A consultation period was launched on 1st October to allow interested members of the public to review the working documents, identify gaps and highlight areas where work may later be commissioned. Minister for Infrastructure, David Cretney MHK said:

‘It is vital that, as part of the formation of the wider Marine Plan, we have a clear understanding of what is currently known about our territorial waters. There are many opportunities that the seas surrounding the Island can provide and it is important for us to ensure that these opportunities are explored in a way that is sympathetic to the environment. I would encourage anyone that has any information to come forward and contribute to the Manx Marine Environmental Assessment.’

Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Phil Gawne MHK said:

This is the first time that mapping of marine species habitats has been undertaken on such a scale. It is important that we have as much information as possible available to us to help protect the marine environment and support sustainable uses of Manx territorial waters. Maps of habitats such as maerl, horse mussels and eelgrass will make an important contribution to our understanding and I would encourage people to get involved in the consultation process to help us make best use of local knowledge and scientific data.’

Minister for Economic Development, John Shimmin MHK said:

‘Manx territorial waters offer the potential of new and valuable revenue streams to the Island through the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energies. Obviously we need to explore these potential development opportunities but it is vital that we do it in a sustainable way with due regard for the environment, existing infrastructure and people who use the seas for leisure and industry. I am pleased to see the Manx Marine Environmental Assessment taking place and I hope that it will allow us to develop in the future without jeopardizing what already exists.’

The Report documents and a Non-technical summary are now available to download as PDF from:

To respond to the consultation please see the Consultation document and Questionnaire available at:

Everyone is welcome to attend an ‘MMEA Drop-in Session,’ where a member of staff will be present to take questions about the MMEA Report and how to respond to the consultation:

  • Wednesday 17 October – Sea Terminal, Douglas. 12 -2pm, and 4 -8pm.
  • Tuesday 23 October – Ramsey Town Hall, Ramsey, 4pm – 8pm.
  • Thursday 25 – DEFA, Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St Johns, 10am – 4pm.
  • Monday 29 October – Port St. Mary Town Hall, Promenade, Port St. Mary, 6pm – 8.30pm.

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