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Solent European Marine Sites

The Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) is one of a number of European marine sites in the UK which are designated as internationally important sites for their habitats and species. SEMS covers the harbours, estuaries, areas of open coast and inshore water around the Solent. The site stretches from Hurst Spit in the west to Chichester Harbour in the east and includes areas along the north coast of the Isle of Wight from Yarmouth to Bembridge Harbour, as well as the mainland shores; SEMS is 781.1km2 in size. The SEMS project was set up in November 2000 with the aim of developing a strategy for managing the marine and coastal resources of the Solent in a more integrated and sustainable way.

Following a review of the statutory SEMS Management Scheme in November 2011, a more streamlined method for annual monitoring and reporting was introduced in 2012, together with a new style delivery plan. The monitoring surveys are completed in the spring by the relevant authorities and findings are reported to the SEMS Management Group's annual meeting in September. The SEMS Strategic Stakeholder Group is also consulted on findings.  Some of the actions identified in the delivery plan are taken forward by the Solent Forum’s Natural Environment Group (NEG).

The Solent Forum currently provides the secretariat for the SEMS Management and Stakeholder Groups.  The SEMS Management Group will have its next annual meeting in September 2017.  


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