The Welsh inshore marine area extends from the mean high-water mark to 12 nautical miles. It covers just under 15,000 square kilometres or 41 % of the territory of Wales. This assessment of the marine ecosystem includes marine water quality, intertidal and subtidal habitats and the species found within them.

Marine natural resources deliver a range of benefits and opportunities, supporting economic activities including:

  • Aggregate (sand and gravel) extraction
  • Ports and shipping
  • Aquaculture and fishing
  • Marine renewable energy from the wind and tide

The marine environment in Wales provides critical services to human health and well-being including:

  • Carbon sequestration (removal and storage) by marine habitats
  • Natural flood defence and mitigation
  • Potential for habitat restoration and associated benefits

The intrinsic value of the marine environment links directly to social opportunities and well-being benefits from recreation, tourism, and other activities.

Our assessment

Download the SoNaRR2020: Marine chapter (PDF)

The chapter highlights the various pressures impacting on the status, extent, condition, and diversity of the marine environment, and the opportunities to improve the resilience of marine ecosystems and secure well-being benefit for society.

The marine chapter's evidence needs are included in the overall evidence needs table.

Related downloads

Related data, maps and reports that underpin SoNaRR 2020

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