JNCC’s advice on offshore Marine Conservation Zones 2014

JNCC’s advice on the offshore Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) considered for designation in 2016 as part of Tranche Two is available to download in the reports below.

Our scientific advice details our assessments in the confidence of feature presence and feature extent; feature vulnerability; feature risk; feature condition and on whether the data for a feature/site support its designation. The MCZ advice protocols were used in the production of this advice and are available to view on our website.

Post-Consultation Advice (July 2015)

Seven new MCZs with all or part of their area in offshore waters have been identified by Defra for designation in 2015, along with additional features in four offshore MCZs that have already been designated.  We provided post consultation advice on JNCC-led sites, which is available for download below. These sites have Site Information Centres (SICs) developed.  SICs contain the most up to date information on offshore MPAs and will include detailed sections on current activities taking place and their management. The Site Information Centres for the four offshore MCZs with additional features designated have been updated to include information about the additional features.

The remaining sites are located within territorial waters (between 0 -12 nautical miles) and are under Natural England’s direction. Natural England’s advice on inshore Marine Conservation Zones proposed for designation in 2016 can be downloaded here.

Review of MCZ Features of Conservation Importance

As part of the 2014 Defra Assessment on ‘progress towards an ecologically coherent network of MPAs in Secretary of State Waters’, a review of the MCZ Features of Conservation Importance (MCZ FOCI) was undertaken by JNCC in partnership with Natural England. Since the publication of the original MCZ FOCI list in 2010, there have been some changes and amendments to legislation that lists the habitats and species that are considered rare, threatened or unique in the UK and so this review considered those changes. More information and the report can be found here.

JNCC’s Tranche Two Pre-Consultation Advice (June 2014)

We gave advice to Defra on how the remaining recommended MCZ (rMCZ) site options could help fill ‘big gaps’ in the existing network of MPAs around England and offshore waters of Wales & Northern Ireland (report available below). Defra used this information alongside socio-economic impact assessments of sites to identify the list of candidate rMCZs and additional features in designated MCZs for the second tranche.

16 recommended MCZs found in offshore waters or which span the territorial – offshore waters boundary were included on Defra’s list and fall under our remit for advice and reporting. Four designated offshore MCZs were considered for additional features. Our scientific advice on the 16 possible offshore Marine Conservation zones considered for consultation in 2015 is available to download below.

The remaining 21 sites that were on Defra’s list of candidate Tranche Two sites are located within territorial waters (between 0 -12 nautical miles) and are under Natural England’s direction. Natural England’s advice on possible inshore Marine Conservation Zones considered for consultation in 2015 can be downloaded here.

Between January and April 2015, Defra held a public consultation on the sites and additional features considered suitable for designation in a second tranche of MCZs in 2016.