The Marine Conservation Zone Project


The Marine Conservation Zone Project was set up in 2008 and led by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Natural England to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) to Government.


The MCZ Project consisted of four regional MCZ projects covering the south-west (Finding Sanctuary), Irish Sea (Irish Sea Conservation Zones), North Sea (Net Gain) and south-east (Balanced Seas). These regional MCZ projects worked with a range of sea users and interest groups to identify MCZs within their regions and in September 2011 submitted their recommendations to JNCC, Natural England and the Science Advisory Panel (see map).


JNCC and Natural England, as the Government’s advisers on the natural environment, have reviewed these recommendations and in July 2012 submitted our formal advice to Government. The advice is available to read on both the JNCC and Natural England websites. Read more.


Between December 2012 and March 2013, Defra held a formal public consultation on all recommended MCZs and indicated which sites they felt had a case for designation in 2013. Visit the Defra website for more information on the consultation.


If you are a national or international stakeholder and would like to find out more about Marine Conservation Zones in the context of the other Marine Protected Area work that is going on in the UK then please get in touch with our JNCC MCZ team who will be happy to speak to you.



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