Offshore MPA Site Information Centres now live

 

Our seas are home to a diverse range of marine life, with over 8,000 different species and a range of habitats from ancient cold water corals in the deep-sea to methane seeps and biological (Sabellaria) reefs closer to shore. The UK is committed to protecting these and many other marine features by developing an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

 

Beyond 12 nautical miles, out of sight of the coast, the UK offshore environment is a busy place with many different activities taking place. To help users and regulatory authorities working in the offshore marine area, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee have developed online Site Information Centres (SICs) for all 38 MPAs designated in UK offshore waters.

 

SICs are a one-stop-shop for all relevant information on offshore MPAs. They include detailed sections on:
• The site and its protected features, complete with an interactive image gallery
• Evidence underpinning the protected features present at a site
• Conservation objectives and advice on operations
• JNCC’s understanding of activities taking place within the site
• Information on site management

There are also sections to house information on results of monitoring and assessment studies as these become available.

 

JNCC Chief Executive Marcus Yeo commented:

“There is increasing pressure for space in the UK offshore marine area. Balancing sustainable resource use with the need to protect marine habitats and species is becoming ever more important. Our site information centres are an easy way for marine users and managers to find out why an offshore MPA has been designated, and what effect the activities they undertake or manage can have on the site.”

 

SICs are of use to industry, regulators, competent authorities, academics, conservationists and everyone who is interested in marine life. They are available via our marine protected area homepage  . Simply click on a region in the map to bring up available SICs for that area. Alternatively, you can open up a navigation page for all SICs using our offshore MPAs page.