Management of Marine Conservation Zones


Management measures required within Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) will be decided on a site-by-site basis, and will depend on what the site has been designated for.

Like protected sites on land, there will be MCZs where some activities are not allowed but others can occur. MCZs may have seasonal restrictions on activities rather than a complete ban. Not all MCZs will need the same management measures and there is no presumption that any specific type of activity will be restricted. There may however, be some sites where many activities are restricted. 




Fishing and Marine Conservation Zones

JNCC and Natural England have developed advice on the impacts of fisheries on the habitats that will be afforded protection by MCZs.

In addition, the Marine Conservation Zone Project has produced a factsheet on the management of fishing activities within MCZs identified in English inshore and English, Welsh and Northern Irish offshore waters.


Licensed and unlicensed activities and Marine Conservation Zones

JNCC and Natural England have produced a general assessment of potential impacts that licensed and unlicensed activities could have on habitats and species to be protected by MCZs, in the absence of MCZs but under existing regulations and legislation. 

This document also includes advice on possible options for mitigation that may be required to avoid damage or disturbance to these habitats and species. JNCC and Natural England have also produced advice relating to the impacts of MCZs on information provision and decisions in relation to marine licensing proposals.


Roles and responsibilities for the management of Marine Conservation Zones

In response to questions asked by members of the regional MCZ project stakeholder groups, an advice document was provided by on the roles and responsibilities in the design, and implementation and enforcement of management measures. It supplements the detail provided in section 3.5 “Conservation objectives and management measures‟ of the MCZ Project Delivery Guidance.

It provides further information on who is responsible for MCZ management and how it will work in practice following the submission of MCZ recommendations.

Decisions on management will not be made until after a site has been designated an MCZ by Government.

Further information on the role of the Marine Management Organisation in the management of MCZs is available from their website.

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