Marine Protected Areas in the Atlantic Arc


JNCC have been part of a European Commission funded Interreg project (Marine Protected Areas in the Atlantic Arc [MAIA]) with organisations from France, Spain and Portugal for the past three years. This project brings together stakeholders, scientists and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) specialists from the Atlantic Arc area to identify best practice methods for the identification, implementation and management of MPAs.


The project is led by the French MPA Agency (agence des aires marines protégées) and aims to:

  • promote and structure the sharing of experience and approaches;
  • elaborate common methodologies;
  • contribute to the emergence of a network of MPA managers.


Through a series of collaborative work plans and technical workshops, the main technical work packages of the project consist of:

  • involving stakeholders in MPA designation and management processes;
  • defining and implementing management plans;
  • establishing indicators in the MPAs and monitoring strategies. 


Key pieces of work that JNCC has led on include:

  • identifying methods to involve international stakeholders in UK MPA projects and the development of offshore management measures;
  • developing possible fisheries management measures for Haig Fras and Stanton Banks Special Areas of Conservation in UK offshore waters;
  • bringing together stakeholders, MPA managers and specialists across the MAIA partnership to discuss best practice for involving stakeholders in the planning and implementation of MPAs;
  • providing UK MPA and legislative information to input into the MAIA GIS database (coming soon); and
  • bringing together specialists from the scientific and fishing communities to work towards the identification of fisheries management measure options for the protection of burrowed mud features.


The current project finishes at the end of December 2012. The project will close with the First Conference of the Atlantic Arc on 3-6 December 2012, in Arcachon, France. The conference will showcase the work completed under the project so far and cover potential ways forward to continue this cooperation and promote the development of a well-managed MPA network in the Atlantic Arc. The conference will also be used as an opportunity to formally launch the MAIA network, extending it to the Atlantic region as a whole.


For more details on the MAIA project please see the MAIA Project website.


Contact File


Sophie Elliott

Marine Fisheries Adviser

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866927


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