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Press release

Marine Management Organisation formed

Date issued: 1 April 2010
Reference: 01/10

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) was established at midnight on 1 April.

The new executive non-departmental public body has been created under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, bringing together key marine decision-making powers and delivery mechanisms to provide an integrated method of planning, regulating and licensing activity in the marine area.

The MMO has incorporated the work of the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) and has acquired several important new roles, principally marine-related powers and specific functions previously associated with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Transport (DfT).

The MMO will:

  • be the national champion of sustainable development in our marine and coastal area
  • implement a new marine planning system
  • implement a new marine licensing regime that is easier for everyone to use
  • streamline the management and regulation of England’s fisheries
  • work with Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) to create and manage a network of protected areas, marine conservation zones (MCZs), designed to preserve vulnerable habitats and species
  • respond to marine emergencies with other agencies.

Chief Executive Officer of the MMO, Steven Gant, said "This is an important day for the sustainable development of our seas. We aim to provide exemplary levels of delivery and public service in the marine area through a truly integrated approach to marine management."

The MMO consists of a headquarters in Newcastle and an integrated chain of 18 coastal offices around the coast of England.

Notes to editors

  1. A full list of coastal offices can be found at from 1 April 2010.
  2. It is intended to establish a network of marine protected areas by 2012. These will include European marine sites (EMSs) and new national marine conservation zones (MCZs). The MCZs are a new type of designation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This ecologically coherent network will protect the diverse habitats and species in UK waters. The waters around Lundy Island became the first MCZ on 12 January 2010.
  3. Marine planning is one of the major new functions of the MMO. The organisation will create a new marine planning system designed to bring together the environmental, social and economic needs of our seas.
  4. The Marine Policy Statement, which the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is developing in co-operation with other government departments, will provide the strategic framework for all marine plans and guide decision-making in the marine environment. Formal consultation on the draft statement will begin in summer 2010.

Contact information

Marine Management Organisation
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 376 2543
Email: media@

Rachel Forster
Tel: 0191 376 2543

Further information

Letter sent to stakeholders (PDF 50 KB)

Letter sent to vessel owners (PDF 50 KB)

These documents are in the portable document format (PDF) for downloading. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be freely downloaded from