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Ports and Shipping

As identified in the Marine Policy Statement, ports and shipping are critical to the effective movement of cargo and people. They form an essential part of the UK and global economies and marine plan authorities and decision makers should seek to minimise any negative impacts upon shipping activity. Shipping and ports have been estimated to make a £13 billion value added contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Please use our interactive map to view and combine marine plan policy data.


Proposals that require static sea surface infrastructure or that significantly reduce under-keel clearance should not be authorised in International Maritime Organization (IMO) designated routes.


Proposals that require static sea surface infrastructure that encroaches upon important navigation routes should not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. Proposals should:

  1. be compatible with the need to maintain space for safe navigation, avoiding adverse economic impact
  2. anticipate and provide for future safe navigational requirements where evidence and/or stakeholder input allows
  3. account for impacts upon navigation in-combination with other existing and proposed activities


Proposals should demonstrate, in order of preference:

  1. that they will not interfere with current activity and future opportunity for expansion of ports and harbours
  2. how, if the proposal may interfere with current activity and future opportunities for expansion they will minimise this
  3. how, if the interference cannot be minimised, it will be mitigated
  4. the case for proceeding if it is not possible to minimise or mitigate the interference