Policy paper

Marine planning: East Marine Plans three-year progress reports

Three-year progress reports on the East Marine Plans.



These reports review progress made in meeting the aims of the East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans and the UK Marine Policy Statement.

The East Marine Plans’ inshore area has a coastline that stretches from Flamborough Head in Yorkshire to Felixstowe town in Suffolk. The offshore area covers from 12 nautical miles out to maritime borders with the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The East Marine Plans were adopted on 1 April 2014.

The East Marine Plans are 20 year plans, so it is important that they are regularly assessed. As with all marine plans, the East Marine Plans are monitored and reviewed every three years, looking at the:

  • effects of policies in the marine plan
  • effectiveness of those policies in securing plan objectives
  • progress towards achieving any objectives set out for that region in a marine plan and the Marine Policy Statement

Amending or replacing the East Marine Plans

The 2020 report shows that the East Marine Plans’ specific plan policies are having a positive effect. It also identified some limitations and further improvements. Following advice from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the East Marine Plans will be amended or replaced.

Amending or replacing the plans will improve how they meet the goal of “clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas”. It will also help take into account the challenges and opportunities that the competing demands on our seas brings. The MMO will develop drafts of the revised East Marine Plans. They will use the marine planning process and consult at the appropriate time.

Marine planning

Marine planning is the approach to managing the seas around England introduced by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. There are 11 marine plan areas in the UK. Marine plans are intended to:

  • inform and guide marine users and regulators
  • manage the sustainable development of marine industries, such as wind farms and fishing
  • help conserve and protect marine species and habitats

Marine plans contribute to the UK having clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

Published 31 March 2017
Last updated 26 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added the 2017 to 2020 three year report.

  2. First published.