UK regional seas

Regional Seas
The map below shows JNCC's work to identify regional seas around the UK. This map was modified from the fisheries sea areas used by ICES and the regional seas defined by OSPAR, and has been developed by JNCC, as part of its contribution to the work of the RMNC. It identifies a number of biogeographically determined regional seas using primarily the factors of temperature, depth and currents. These regional seas have been identified for UK waters, but overlap the waters of neighbouring countries. Further work needs to be undertaken, in collaboration with other country partners, to complete the identification of regional sea boundaries in the NE Atlantic.
The Irish Sea Pilot project recommends that a system of regional seas should be identified and that they could form the basis for environmental management action, including marine strategic and spatial planning and the identification of an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas. The establishment of fora at the regional sea level could assist with co-ordination and collaboration in management planning, data collection, survey and research.
Map copyright JNCC 2004. World Vector Shoreline - copyright US Defence Mapping Agency
The exact limits of the UK Continental Shelf are set out in orders made under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964 (Crown copyright)
Developing regional seas for UK waters using biogeographic principles
JNCC has prepared this paper (Developing regional seas for UK waters using biogeographic principles pdf size 965KB) to take forward the concept of regional seas for implementing UK nature conservation strategy. It was developed with contributions from the inter-country conservation agency Marine Natura 2000 Project Group. However, the development of regional seas and the placement of their boundaries must be regarded as 'work in progress' and JNCC welcomes comment on the following text, along with any additional information to finalise the boundaries. Following this consultation with interested parties, the boundaries will be finalised and the regional seas will be proposed to Defra for use in future policy and management initiatives.

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