The Welsh Ministers are the marine plan authority for the Welsh inshore and offshore regions (the “Welsh marine area”). The Welsh inshore region covers the area that, starting from the high water mark, extends out to 12 nm from the Welsh coast and the coasts of other countries is less than 12 nm, e.g., in the Severn Estuary. The Welsh offshore region covers the marine area that extends beyond the 12 nm described about the median line, i.e., the equidistant line between the Welsh coast and the coasts of other countries up to a maximum of 200 nm. Wales has already decided to have a national marine plan for the inshore and offshore and to adopt them by 2012/13.
The Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for preparing and adopting marine plans in the Welsh marine area. The Marine Team, part of the Department of Environment and Sustainability within the Welsh Assembly Government, will lead preparation of the Welsh marine plans, drawing on relevant policy advice and expertise from within the rest of the Government (including Economy & Transport, Nature Conservation, Fisheries, and Sustainable Energy), and external advisers and organizations (statutory and non-statutory). Stakeholder engagement will run throughout the entire marine planning process. A sustainability appraisal (SA) will run alongside the plan making process, with stakeholders involved in all key stages of plan making.