As part of continued stakeholder engagement, MarPAMM Irish Regions has produced a guidance priority document which indicates key guidance themes for the North Coast – North Channel Region. This document identifies strategic guidance areas that will help to alignment with current and future practices, and help to achieve the outputs of statutory polices created by the relevant departments in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Ongoing work with the regional and site specific steering groups have helped to identify strategic guidance management approaches, these have been collated and analysed in regards to their frequency and overall consensus through bespoke modelling. This qualitative feedback was then paired with quantitative data coming from MarPAMM science packages to help justify the rankings.

The guidance screening document ascribes a priority level of either high, medium or low to each management area. These levels are ascribed for the purpose of inclusion in a guidance arena and are ranked in response to the strategic perspective and needs of the North Coast- North Channel Region. This is not to say that guidance areas that are listed as low are in fact low priority in a wider sense, but they are classed as this in relation to their relevance in a strategic context and within the deliverables of a regional management plan.

In addition, the guidance screening document listed the scope in which each pressure and issue falls into, including political, economic, social, ecological, infrastructure and technological. By defining these spheres, the document looks at how the connectivity and networked abilities of our regional MPA’s can be increased and better facilitated across various sectors.

Stakeholder engagement was vital in creating this guidance screening document and in January 2022 MarPAMM Irish Regions Policy Workshops stakeholders will be given the opportunity for active guidance development through three scenarios looking at Coastal Processes, Fishing & Aquaculture and Recreation/Tourism. These exercises will provide insights into the processes behind strategic guidance drafting and allow stakeholders to share their expertise on the proposed approach.