Research and analysis

Marine planning: issues and evidence database

Database of issues with supporting evidence for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plans



The Issues Database has been produced following public consultation (summer 2016) to gather issues and supporting evidence for the north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas.


An issue is an opportunity or challenge to the marine plan area which is likely to drive or be affected by change, and that can be addressed, at least in part, by marine planning.


Evidence includes social, economic or environmental data, academic research, government policy and expert opinion.

Common issues and policies:

Many issues are ‘common’ across some or all other plan areas, including those covered by the adopted East Marine Plans and the draft South Marine Plan. If a common issue has been addressed in the South and/or East Marine Plans by a policy, it has been recommended as a proposed draft policy or ‘common policy’.

The Issues Database includes:

  • overview of each issue
  • issue category (economic, environmental, social and economic)
  • details of supporting evidence gathered
  • which marine plan area the issue relates to

The Issues Database has also been divided into two further spreadsheets to include proposed draft common policies. The two spreadsheets are:

  • area specific and common issues with no proposed draft common policies
  • common issues with proposed draft common policies

There is also two supporting spreadsheet which includes the proposed draft common policies by marine plan area and explains the policy codes.

Some issues have multiple sources of associated evidence. Where this is the case the issue is repeated for each evidence source.

The table below provides more information on the different database headings.

Heading Explanation
ID Unique reference number that has been automatically assigned to the record
Plan-area The marine plan area that this issue applies to.

Please note that issues may apply to a single marine plan area, all marine plan areas or a combination of plan areas. In order to filter by plan area choose ‘text filter’ and ‘contains’ from the filter menu then enter the plan area name required (eg ‘north east’)
Theme Defined as economic, environment, governance or social
Issue Description of the issue
Evidence Name/title of the evidence source
URL Location that the evidence can be accessed from
Confidence Indicative confidence rating assigned to the evidence source:

High (H) has been quality assured for use in marine plans.

Medium (M) is a published report/data/plan that has not been quality assured for use in marine plans, but a level of confidence exists as it has been published.

Low (L) comes from unpublished sources, such as anecdotal comments and requires both follow up and quality assurance

Proposed draft policies are also available on our Marine Information System (MIS)

Published 5 January 2017
Last updated 3 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. changes made to attachments in line with accessibility audit

  2. Changes to attachment types in line with MMO accessibility audit

  3. Database spreadsheet updated

  4. Issues database updated

  5. Issues database updated

  6. First published.