Marine Protected Areas

Our seas are home to some of the most biologically diverse habitats and species in Europe. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the tools that can help us to protect the marine environment, whilst also enabling it's sustainable use, ensuring it remains healthy and contributes to our society for generations to come.

JNCC is responsible for identifying and providing conservation advice on MPAs in UK offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles). More information on our role can be found on the MPA Overview page.

We have developed Site Information Centres for offshore MPAs in UK waters. Click on each region on the map below to find out more about offshore MPAs in your area of interest. Alternatively, if you know the name of the MPA you are interested in, you can access the Site Information Centre directly on our Offshore MPA page.

 

 

UK Offshore Map Atlantic North-West Approaches, Rockall Trough and Faeroe/Shetland Channel  - Select to learn more Scottish Continental Shelf - Select to learn more Northern North Sea  - Select to learn more Minches and Western Scotland - Select to learn more Irish Sea  - Select to learn more Western Channel and Celtic sea  - Select to learn more Southern North Sea  - Select to learn more Eastern Channel  - Select to learn more
 

 

MPAs that are situated within territorial waters (less than 12 nautical miles from the coast) are the responsibility of the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Body. There is one marine Special Protected Area (Outer Thames Estuary) where a small proportion of the site extends into offshore waters. The JNCC interactive map displays MPAs in both territorial and offshore waters and links to further site specific information.

The regions shown on the UK MPA map above are known as the UK Charting progress 2 regions. The UK assessment of progress made towards the vision of ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’, known as Charting Progress 2, sub-divided the entire UK sea area into eight biogeographic regions.  The regions are based on bio-geographical features such as physical parameters and distribution of flora and fauna rather than administrative boundaries.

Please note the CP2 regional boundaries have been modified to show the updated extent of the UK continental shelf and are unofficial. More information is available from the Defra website.

If you have any questions or queries about MPAs in UK offshore waters, please contact us.