Report 460
Review of international Marine Protected Area seabed monitoring and assessment of 'good practice' to inform applications within UK waters
(2012)
Parry, M., Tierney, M., Wood, L., Stanwell-Smith, D., Northen, K., Abdulla, A., Corrigan, C., Gassner, P. & Fletcher, L.
The UK is committed to establishing an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2012.

Introduction

An important component of the UK marine conservation effort is delivered through marine protected areas (MPAs), and as such there is a need to monitor their effectiveness in delivering conservation goals.  The UK is signatory to a number of international agreements that aim to establish an ‘ecologically coherent network of MPAs’ by 2012 (JNCC 2010). Currently, the UK MPA network includes Sites/Areas of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs/ASSIs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Ramsar sites and Marine Nature Reserves (MNRs). In England and Wales, a new type of MPA has been designated, called Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), which will also form part of the network (JNCC 2012). Likewise Scotland will also introduce a series of new Nature Conservation, Demostration and Research, and Historic MPAs (SNH 2012); and in Northern Ireland, the proposed Marine Bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly includes provisions for MCZs in Northern Ireland’s territorial waters (DOE 2010).
 
The Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Research and Development Programme led by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and involving all the UK Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), aims to recommend an integrated system of monitoring for both Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the wider environment to meet the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and other drivers.  Within the wider Programme there is a project to focus on monitoring of MPAs which aims to establish long term monitoring programmes for the offshore MPAs, to ensure the conservation objectives of each site are being met, and to consider whether any additional monitoring is required to enable assessment of the contribution of the MPA network to marine conservation.

 
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A4, 144pp
ISSN 0963 8091
 
Please cite as: Parry, M., Tierney, M., Wood, L., Stanwell-Smith, D., Northen, K., Abdulla, A., Corrigan, C., Gassner, P. & Fletcher, L., (2012), Review of international Marine Protected Area seabed monitoring and assessment of 'good practice' to inform applications within UK waters, JNCC Report 460, A4, 144pp, ISSN 0963 8091