The report is a key part of the process of developing Ireland’s first marine spatial plan, which will be the equivalent of the National Planning Framework for the marine area. The report presents a brief introduction to MSP and its benefits, the purpose of the report as well as a list of public events and a chapter on public particiaption, communication and engagement. The new report also makes reference to Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, Ireland's first integrated national marine plan.
In addition, the report also sets MSP in a broader context, relating it to other EU and national policy and legal frameworks, links to terrestrial planning, licensing, climate change as well as BREXIT. The maritime activities that the report addresses include (but are not limited to) aquaculture, cultural heritage, defence, energy (renewable and traditional), fisheries, marine aggregates and one of the chapters is also dedicated to MSP and the marine environment. The report is 'the first formal dialogue and a major step towards the preparation of a marine spatial plan for Ireland. It will inform the next steps in the process, including the development of objectives and policies in the draft plan.'
There are 12 consultation questions in the report intended to spark engagement from a wide range of stakeholders. Written responses and comments can be sent in until 14 December 2018. In parallel, a series of regional public and stakeholder events will be organised in the month of October 2018. More information one these events can be found here.