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Solent Marine Sites (SEMS)


Saltmarsh at Northney
Saltmarsh at Northney © Wez Smith

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The Solent 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 waters 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. The SEMS Management Group was established in November 2000 as a partnership, with the aim of managing the Solent's designated sites in an integrated and sustainable way.

The main aim of SEMS is to monitor the non-licensable activities that take place in the Solent to ensure that they are not having a detrimental effect on designated sites. Seventeen activities are currently surveyed.

An annual activity survey is completed in the spring by the relevant authorities and its findings are the basis of the Annual Management Report (AMR); this report is discussed at the SEMS Management Group's annual meeting in September. SEMS strategic stakeholders are also consulted.  Actions identified in the AMR are taken forward either by the individual relevant authorities or for strategic issues the Solent Forum’s Natural Environment Group (NEG).

The Solent Forum currently provides the secretariat for both the SEMS Management and Stakeholder Groups. 


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