Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Government seeks views on sustainable approach to offshore developments

The Government has launched a consultation to gather views on a sustainable approach to marine development.

The Government today (7 June 2022) launched a consultation to gather views on a sustainable approach to marine development that will help meet the UK’s ambitious target to reach net zero while supporting the recovery of our ocean.

Marine net gain (MNG) aims to improve the state of the marine environment by protecting, restoring or creating environmental features of greater ecological value than any losses associated with marine infrastructure projects.

This will be increasingly important as we accelerate offshore wind deployment in our efforts to build a clean, secure and affordable domestic energy supply.

Marine net gain would protect valuable marine species and habitats, for example through planting seagrass which stores and absorbs carbon, or removing plastics and other litter from our oceans.

This consultation asks stakeholders to put forward their views on what the ‘gains’ could be and how these should be delivered.

Marine net gain will work alongside biodiversity net gain (BNG) to ensure nature and biodiversity are at the centre of all decision-making and design, both on land and in our marine environment.

The consultation opens today and will run for 12 weeks until 30 August 2022. Responses will be reviewed and used to help design the approach, including how gains could be implemented and which marine infrastructure projects are in scope.

This announcement builds on commitments in the Environment Act which will deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth and drive forward action to protect nature and improve biodiversity, including through a target to halt species decline by 2030.


  • The requirements for biodiversity net gain will apply to development projects or components of projects as far as the low-water mark, including the intertidal zone. Projects or components of projects in the marine environment beyond the intertidal zone, known as subtidal areas, are included within the scope of the marine net gain requirements.
  • The responses to the recent biodiversity net gain consultation are currently being reviewed and a Government response will be issued in due course. Responses to the consultation will inform development of secondary legislation, policy, and guidance.
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