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Evidence requirements

The evidence requirements to support marine planning are an important consideration. For example, the UK High Level Marine Objectives (HM Government, 2009) recognise that ‘Sound evidence and monitoring underpins effective marine management and policy development’.

The extent of knowledge and understanding of the marine environment is considerably less than for terrestrial environments. For example, the level of detail of habitat mapping for the marine area is generally much poorer than on land.

While it is widely recognised that further investment in marine data acquisition is required, it will continue to be necessary for marine planners to seek to clearly define and prioritise information requirements to support plan-making(see e.g. CEFAS & ABPmer, 2010a).

There is a wealth of experience from terrestrial planning on the nature and role of evidence in plan-making processes. Considerable work has also been undertaken to identify information requirements for marine planning within the UK alongside practical experiences from existing marine planning initiatives.