Welsh Marine Conservation Zones


In 2012, the Welsh Government and other UK Administrations published a statement setting out the expected UK contribution to an ecologically coherent Marine Protected Area (MPA) network in the north-east Atlantic.

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 allows for the creation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) anywhere in English and Welsh territorial and UK offshore waters for the protection of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology.

In 2014, the first MCZ in Welsh waters was established. Skomer MCZ is situated around the island of Skomer and the Marloes Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, south west Wales. Before 2014 the area had been Wales’ only Marine Nature Reserve for 24 years.

The Welsh Government requested an analysis of the progress towards an ecologically coherent network of MPAs in waters around Wales, together with advice on whether there are any potential gaps that need to be filled for Wales to meet its MPA network obligations. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have processed available data to enable the Welsh Government to demonstrate the level of progress and Wales’ contribution to the wider network of MPAs in the UK. The report setting out the methodology followed by the results from this assessment has now been published and is available for download from the document download box at the bottom of this page. This work will help inform next steps including developing options to fill any gaps identified.




• ‘Assessing the contribution of Welsh MPAs towards an ecologically coherent MPA network in 2016’



Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Return to Graphics version

| JNCC - Adviser to Government on Nature Conservation | Site Map | Search | Legal | Feedback | List Access Keys |