The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is a partner of the Marine Protected Areas in the Atlantic Arc (MAIA) Project. This is a European Commission (EC) part funded Interreg IVb project which brings together stakeholders, scientists and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) specialists from France, Spain, Portugal and the UK to identify best practice methods for the identification, implementation and management of MPAs.

Prawn cracker sponge (Axinella infundibuliformis) with cushion stars and feather stars, Stanton Banks cSAC © JNCC/CEFAS

  Stanton Banks © MESH         Haig Fras © Ivor Rees       


The MAIA project aims to:

  • Promote and structure the sharing of experience and approaches;
  • Elaborate common methodologies;
  • Contribute to the emergence of a network of MPA managers.


Through a series of collaborative work plans and technical workshops, the main technical work packages of the project consist of:

  • Involving the stakeholders in MPA designation and management processes;
  • Defining and implementing management plans;
  • Establishing indicators in the MPAs and monitoring strategies.


For more details on the MAIA project please see the MAIA Project website.


Key pieces of work that JNCC has led on include:

  • Identifying methods to involve international stakeholders in UK MPA projects;
  • Development of possible offshore fisheries management measures for Stanton Banks and Haig Fras Sites of Community Importance;
  • Management of fisheries in Marine Protected Areas containing burrowed mud habitats workshop;
  • Bringing together stakeholders, MPA managers and specialists across the MAIA partnership to discuss best practice for involving stakeholders in the planning and implementation of MPAs;
  • Providing UK MPA and legislative information to input into the MAIA GIS database (coming soon here). 




MAIA partnership Interreg logo