Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are
designated under the EC Habitats Directive for habitats and species
listed in Annex I and II of the Directive. SACs with marine
components are sites that contain qualifying marine habitats or species.
There are currently 105 SACs with marine components that
cover about 14% of the UK's marine area. You can
download a list of the SACs and their qualifying marine
features, and a shapefile of the sites.
80 SACs are found in inshore waters (from landward extent of Mean
High Water/Mean High Water Springs to 12 nautical miles from the
coast), 16 are located in offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) and
there are 9 sites within in both inshore and offshore waters. Use
MPA interactive map to find out more about these sites.
Following submissions of several candidate SACs with marine
components in 2012, and the further submission of sites
for Harbour Porpoise in 2017, the UK anticipates that the
for marine habitats is now substantially complete.
Conservation objectives describe what is important in terms of
achieving a healthy state for each protected feature in a SAC.
These are set out in site specific Conservation Objectives
and Advice on Operations documents, which are available on
our SAC Site Information Centres.
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