Marine Protected Areas
We're calling for at least 30% of the ocean to be highly or fully protected by 2030, to allow our ocean to recover and thrive once more.
Our experts have been working on getting more, better, Marine Protected Areas for nearly 40 years.
Marine Protected Areas are like underwater national parks, acting as sanctuaries for rare or threatened animals, plants and landscapes . They're a vital tool in safeguarding our ocean's future. We work in the UK to designate these areas and make sure these vulnerable habitats are being protected.
The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Reality Checker is a tool which maps out MPAs and areas of conservation around the UK, showing what fishing activity is happening in our protected seas and beyond.
Our Seasearch diving project is vital in helping to understand what's happening in our waters. Records from divers have already made a big difference to how much we know about British and Irish marine life.
Why Marine Protected Areas are important
Marine Protected Areas, like national parks and nature reserves on land, are set up to look after particular animals, plants and habitats at sea.
Protected seas around the UK
There are currently 371 Marine Protected Areas covering 38% of UK seas. We're working to make sure these are effective in recovering the ocean's health.
Marine unProtected Areas
In early 2021 we released a report which found that damaging fishing, like bottom trawling, is taking place in 98% of the UK's offshore Marine Protected Areas intended to protect vital seabed habitats.
Agents of Change
The Agents of Change project works alongside coastal communities to make Marine Protected Areas matter.
Making Welsh Marine Protected Areas matter
With half of Welsh waters having some form of legal protection they should be in a healthy state, but this isn't the case.
Projects in the UK Overseas Territories
The 14 UK Overseas Territories are a fascinating and diverse set of islands. Through various projects, we're supporting our UKOT partners in the protection and management of their fragile environments and species.
Save Scottish Seas
We’re proud to have been leading the Save Scottish Seas project, securing marine conservation wins in Scotland since 2006.
FISH INTEL project
We're working with 11 other partners on a major EU-funded project to learn more about fish behaviour.