Marine Protected Areas Monitoring


JNCC has a dual responsibility for monitoring of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)  in UK.  As part of the UK-wide Marine Biodiversity Monitoring R&D Programme we lead a partnership to develop options for monitoring of biodiversity in UK inshore  (< 12nm from the coast) and offshore waters (from 12nm from the coast out to the limits of the UK continental shelf)  both within MPAs in the wider environment.  For MPAs, this involves working in partnership with the Country Nature Conservation Bodies (CNCBs)(Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the  Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) who are responsible for monitoring of MPAs in inshore waters. JNCC conducted a review of  monitoring and assessment in UK inshore MPAs by the CNCBs using Common Standards Monitoring guidance between 1999 and 2013 (McBreen et al, 2016).   JNCC work together with the CNCBs to develop appropriate monitoring options, methods and protocols for monitoring of MPAs. Following on from this work, JNCC have published Monitoring Guidance for Benthic Habitats which aims to supply the reader with the information necessary to develop robust benthic monitoring programmes and answer monitoring questions with a high level of confidence.


JNCC leads on operational monitoring of MPAs in UK offshore waters to assess the condition of habitats in offshore MPAs.  Links to reports from these surveys can be found in the table below. Click on each region on the map here to find out more about offshore MPAs in your area of interest. Alternatively, if you know the name of the MPA you are interested in, you can access this information directly on our Offshore MPA page.


Marine Scotland, in partnership with and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) , has developed a Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) monitoring strategy. The Strategy is supported by a series of annexes which provide more detail on monitoring methods, collaborative working, current monitoring and a two year forward look for MPA monitoring in Scottish waters.


Offshore MPA monitoring surveys

A list of offshore MPA monitoring surveys can be found in the table below. Links to the final reports will be provided when they are published.


MPA Year Organisations Survey Report Monitoring report
The Canyons 2017 JNCC\Cefas    
North West Jones Bank 2017 JNCC\Cefas    
Wight Barfleur Reef 2017 JNCC\Cefas    
Bassurelle Sandbanks 2017 JNCC\Cefas    
Pisces Reef cSAC\SCI 2016 JNCC\Cefas Jenkins & Nelson, 2017  
Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope NCMPA 2016 JNCC\Marine Scotland Science    
Dogger Bank 2016 Thünen Institute\Riijkswaterstaat\JNCC\Cefas   Fock, 2016  
North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef cSAC\SCI 2016 JNCC\Natural England\Cefas    
Haisborough Hammond Winterton cSAC\SCI 2016 JNCC\Natural England\Cefas    
Inner Dowsing, Race Bank & North Ridge cSAC\SCI 2016 JNCC\Natural England\Cefas    
Swallow Sands MCZ 2016 JNCC\Cefas    
North East of Farnes Deep MCZ 2016 JNCC\Cefas    
Croker Carbonate Slabs cSAC\SCI 2015 JNCC\Cefas\Alan Judd Wood et al, 2016 Noble-James et al. 2017
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain NCMPA 2015 JNCC\Marine Scotland Science O'Connor, 2016  
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields NCMPA 2015 JNCC\Marine Scotland Science O'Connor, 2016  
East of Haig Fras MCZ 2015 JNCC\Cefas Callaway, 2015  
Haig Fras SAC 2015 JNCC\Cefas

Callaway, 2015

Dogger Bank cSAC\SCI 2014 JNCC\Cefas

Ware & McIlwaine, 2015

Eggleton et al, 2017
Fladen Grounds NCMPA 2014 JNCC\Cefas

McIlwaine, 2015

Murray et al., 2016