Issues and Opportunities Report

Irish Sea Maritime Forum


This report, based on a stakeholder workshop held in 2012 and further consultation is intended to act as a position statement reflecting the concerns and priorities of Irish Sea stakeholders on a number of issues, as well as suggesting future directions for ISMF activity.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Nature protection
Offshore renewable energy production
Type of Issue: 
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can joint aims for development in the marine area be established?
  • In what ways can stakeholders be involved in identifying spatial conflicts in a cross-border area?

Implementation Context

The Irish Sea Issues and Opportunities report was intended inform the direction of future Irish Sea Maritime Forum activities and forthcoming maritime planning in the region. A stakeholder workshop was held in Liverpool in November 2012 to provide the basis of a draft paper, focussing on Fishing; Marine Energy; Ports and Shipping; Tourism and Recreation; and the Environment. The draft paper was circulated for further consultation before a final report was produced in May 2013.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Establishing effective communication between stakeholders in different jurisdictions
  • Developing a joint vision for development of a sub-regional marine area
  • Understanding the different governance and policy frameworks relevant to MSP in different jurisdictions
  • Collecting, analysing and managing data relating to spatial activities covering different jurisdictions


In order to produce the report Irish Sea Maritime Forum Steering Group members first determined the maritime sectors that were thought to be the most relevant for the future development of the Irish Sea and where cooperation between maritime spatial planning authorities might be beneficial. These five sectors were then used as the basis for facilitated sessions at a workshop held in November 2012 in Liverpool, which was attended by over 60 delegates from around the Irish Sea region. Material generated during workshop discussions was then used to inform the draft Issues and Opportunities document. This draft document was then circulated to Irish Sea stakeholders for further consultation and comment before the final report was published in May 2013.

Main Outputs / Results

  • Workshop of approx. 60 people
  • Final Issues and Opportunities Report available in print and online


The Issues and Opportunities Report can be used by maritime planning authorities in all jurisdictions of the Irish Sea to highlight key issues that may be transboundary in nature and requiring transboundary cooperation to deal with. Also the report highlights areas of strength or potential in maritime activities that may be exploited through future planning efforts.

Contact Person

Irish Sea Maritime Forum Secretariat

+ 44 (0) 151 794 3117

Department of Geography and Planning

University of Liverpool

Room G.11

Gordon Stephenson Building

74 Bedford Street South

Liverpool L69 7ZQ

United Kingdom

Responsible Entity

Irish Sea Maritime Forum

Costs / Funding Source

Funding Source: Department of Environment Northern Ireland, Isle of Man Government, Marine Management Organisation (England) and University of Ulster (N Ireland)