Marine conservation zones

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Marine conservation zones
  • Marine conservation zones
  • Designation of MCZs
  • England
  • Wales
  • Objective to create network of conservation sites
  • Report
  • Duties of public authorities
  • Marine conservation: England and the English offshore region
  • Byelaws—England
  • More...

Marine conservation zones

Marine conservation zones

Part 5 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA 2009) provides a power, across most of UK waters, to designate marine conservation zones (MCZs) and replaces the previous power under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to designate Marine Nature Reserves. This note focuses on MCZs in England and Wales.

For more information on MCAA 2009 more generally, see Practice Note: Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009—snapshot.

MCZs create protected marine sites and complement the other designations available under the marine protected areas network, such as Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protected Areas and Marine Protected Areas.

For more details on the marine protected areas network, see Practice Note: Marine protected areas.

Highly Protected Marine Areas

A review to examine the most effective way to introduce the strongest protections for areas of sea—Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) was announced in June 2019. The Benyon Review into HPMAs published in June 2020 concluded that HPMAs are an essential component of the MPA network, and government should introduce them into Secretary of State waters. The review concluded that HPMAs would complement the existing MPA network, enabling greater recovery of the marine ecosystem and enhancing the government’s commitment to a national ‘Blue Belt’ of marine protection. In June 2021, the government responded to this review, accepting the central recommendation that pilot sites should be taken forward and that HPMAs will be introduced

Popular documents