Marine plan should avoid ‘privatising’ resources, department told

Ireland’s first-ever marine spatial plan should avoid becoming a lever for “privatising” coastal resources and should prioritise climate change, according to public submissions.

Some 44 per cent of responses to the Government’s public consultation have also said they prefer a “policy-based” plan, rather than zoning areas for specific marine-based activities.

The State’s first marine management strategy aims to mirror land-based planning in prioritising activities ranging from offshore energy projects to fish farms, fisheries and marine tourism.

It will extend from the mean high-water mark to 200 nautical miles out when implemented in 2021.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has been appointed lead agency. It sought public feedback before mid-December on a baseline report published in late summer that gave a “snapshot” of activity in one of Europe’s largest exclusive economic zones.

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