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Strategic targets proposed for Marine Net Gain

A new report details a robust set of recommended targets for Marine Net Gain, representing consensus across industry, regulators and conservation bodies.

The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme* has recently published a report outlining recommended targets for Marine Net Gain.

Marine Net Gain is an approach to development that aims to leave the marine environment in a measurably better state than before.

Strategic Net Gain Targets for Coastal and Marine Environments’ was developed published by the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme Task and Finish Group (T&F Group), with support from The Crown Estate. ABPmer provided consultancy support to the T&F Group.

The T&F Group comprises a wide range of marine stakeholders, including Defra, Energy UK, Natural England, Renewable UK, RSPB, SUDG, The Crown Estate, The Wildlife Trusts and the UK Major Ports Group

The report details a robust set of recommended targets for Marine Net Gain, representing consensus across industry, regulators and conservation bodies. The targets set clear direction for how developments could contribute towards MNG to restore and improve the marine environment, linked to national strategic priorities.

The aim of the T&F Group is for these targets to inform the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ongoing work through the Offshore Wind Enabling Actions (OWEAP) Programme to develop policy for MNG and its implementation. 

On a regional and national level, the T&F Group considers that Marine Net Gain should be a strategically managed process, led by Government, to which funding and delivery of projects is contributed to by industry.

The Group believes that Marine Net Gain should not only encompass habitat restoration, but include species restoration and human activity pressure reduction, as important measures to support restoration and enhancement of the marine environment.

Stephen Hull, ABPmer Director, said:

“ABPmer worked with the Task and Finish Group to develop a phased and iterative survey process that engaged with marine and industry stakeholders to determine and prioritise targets, as well as what developers and operators could realistically support.
The Group has done an excellent job in identifying the huge potential for industry to contribute positively to achieving our marine environmental objectives and targets. There is a real opportunity in delivering better outcomes for the marine environment.”

Download the full recommendations from the Marine Data Exchange website.

ABPmer's marine planning and policy specialists are thought leaders in Marine Net Gain publishing a series of White Papers making recommendations on implementing Net Gain, as well as leading and contributing to studies to inform its implementation.

* The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme was established by The Crown Estate in December 2020 and aims to facilitate the sustainable and coordinated expansion of offshore wind to help meet the UK’s commitments to low carbon energy transition whilst supporting clean, healthy, productive and biologically diverse seas. It is a collaborative programme led by The Crown Estate, together with its programme partners, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Defra. It is being delivered in collaboration with devolved government bodies and organisations from across the UK that have an interest in planning for the future of offshore wind.