Offshore MPA Conservation Advice


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Conservation advice for each of the offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is delivered through Site Information Centres. Advice on individual applications for plans and projects within or near offshore MPAs is delivered by our offshore industry advice team.


JNCC conservation advice is useful if you are:

  • developing or proposing any activity that may affect the site;
  • undertaking an assessment of impacts on the site from a proposed activity, for example a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA);
  • planning measures to manage the site and its qualifying features to ensure the delivery of its conservation objectives; or;
  • monitoring and/or assessing the condition of the protected features.




Improving offshore MPA Conservation Advice

Recommendations from a review of how the EU Habitats and Wild Birds Directives are implemented in England and guidance issued by the European Commission for Natura 2000 sites, recommends that conservation objectives ‘should remain up-to-date, be easily accessible and should allow applicants to assess the impacts of their proposed development against them’. Furthermore, an effort should be made to make them 'operational in practice and be specified in concrete terms and wherever possible be quantifiable in numbers and/or size'.


JNCC have been working on improving the conservation advice we provide for offshore Marine Protected Areas in line with the above principles. The new approach is based on recommended best practise and feedback from current users, and is outlined in the following paper:

The approach is being trialled with Dogger Bank cSAC/SCI and updated draft conservation advice is now available in the conservation advice tab of the Dogger Bank Site Information Centre.


Further information

Further information is available on obtaining a license for operations in UK waters or for conservation in nearshore waters.


Tompot Blenny Plymouth Sound © Paul Naylor Curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) © Keith Hiscock, JNCC Sea fan anemone (Amphianthus dohrni) © Keith Hiscock Subtidal Mixed Sediments © Lin Baldock