Devon is synonymous with the sea. We’re the only county in England to boast two separate coastlines and we’re blessed with the most spectacular coastal scenery in Europe. The majority of Devon’s coast is covered by national or international landscape and wildlife designations. The fisheries off the southern coast are some of the richest and most varied in Europe. Recreational angling and diving are important growing industries, as is renewable energy.
However, Devon’s marine environment faces many pressures, including intensive fishing, pollution, mineral extraction and heavy recreational use. Largely hidden beneath the waves, the true value of our seas – threats to it – are poorly understood by most of us. This is a critical time of change: international regulations for fishing are being renegotiated; new uses, particularly for marine renewables, are being promoted. The UK Government is in the process of designated a network of protected sites – Marine Conservation Zones – and for the first time in history a spatial planning system is coming into effect for England’s seas.
Projects and links
- North Devon Marine Pioneer
- Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services in the Western Channel (Valmer), an Interreg project (2012 – 2015) examining how improved marine ecosystem services assessment can support effective and informed marine management and planning. Find out about the North Devon VALMER project.
- South Marine Plan Areas (Folkestone to the River Dart) led by the Marine Management Organisation
- IFCA – Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities.
- Marine Management Organisation