Policy Support

Advice and support for the development and implementation of marine environmental policy

Our marine environment is a precious resource. Sustainable development demands that our seas are managed in a way that enables economic and social development, while respecting environmental limits and the ecosystem services from which many human benefits derive.

Balancing competing demands on the environment is a significant challenge. Over the past two decades, national governments have sought to introduce marine policies to deliver environmental improvements and sustain economic development, with varying levels of success.

Advising on environmental policy

ABPmer routinely advises Governments, advisory bodies and NGOs on marine environmental policy matters. We are at the forefront of policy development in Marine Spatial Planning, Marine Protected Area Planning and Marine Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services.

We also regularly provide advice on policy related issues to our industry clients including the marine aggregates, port, energy and cables sectors.

Supporting marine planning

ABPmer has been a thought leader in marine planning and policy for over a decade.

We have been extensively involved in all UK national marine planning processes, as well as projects in Ireland, wider Europe and internationally. We have also led or contributed to national sectoral planning processes for offshore wind, marine renewables, marine aggregates and offshore cable networks.

National governments routinely benefit from ABPmer’s support in the appraisal of marine plans and programmes through strategic environmental assessment, strategic Habitats Regulations Appraisal and socio-economic impact assessment.

We have been at the forefront of planning and implementation of UK Marine Protected Areas, including ground-breaking evidence projects and evaluation of options for management measures.

Ecosystem services and natural capital

Knowledge and understanding of ecosystem services and natural capital is a cornerstone of effective marine environmental policy development. Our specialists regularly lead and input to studies to develop and apply ecosystem services and Natural Capital frameworks at both strategic and project level.

We have used such frameworks to support marine planning processes and project level decision-making on interventions such as managed realignment and beneficial use of dredged sediments. We are thought leaders on marine net gain

Applied research and national policy guidance

We have undertaken many applied research studies for central government and for statutory marine planning, marine licensing and conservation bodies on diverse issues such as marine plastic, human activity pressures and marine climate change.

A wide variety of marine industries benefit from the national guidance documents we have been commissioned to prepare. Topics include Environmental Impact Assessment for offshore wind projects, consenting requirements for marine renewables, marine planning and licensing guidance and marine survey guidance.

Service areas

  • Marine planning and advice
  • Marine policy research
  • MPA planning and advice
  • Socio-economic assessment
  • Ecosystem services
  • Marine net gain
  • Natural capital

Ready to speak to one of our specialists about your policy support requirements? Get in touch.


What does the future of queen scallop fishing look like in English waters?

We have reviewed information to support Defra in the preparation of an English Fisheries Management Plan for queen scallops

Read article

E-zine sign-up