This report is a collation and assessment of the evidence and issues for the East Inshore and East Offshore marine plan areas (see Figure 1.1). It serves both the planning process (see section 1.5) and the linked sustainability appraisal (SA) process (see section 1.3). The information in the report has been drawn together to set out the evidence and identify the issues relevant to these marine plans and to inform the next steps in the process, i.e. generating objectives and options. The report also meets the requirements for scoping for SA purposes.
A key element of the report and consultation was to draw out the most important issues that are to be addressed by marine planning. There is a clear expectation that marine plans add value to, rather than duplicate, other mechanisms. Some stakeholders were concerned that issues were not refined too far at this stage. As a result, the report contains a range of issues where other measures are 'signposted'. Discussion during the next steps in the planning process will clarify those issues to focus on in drafting a plan for formal consultation by the end of 2012.