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