Marine Protected Area mapper


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The map represents an interactive resource containing information on 355 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) designated in the UK and Crown Dependency waters.  

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Applied in a related process
Nature protection
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Environment aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Habitats and Birds Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What are the data available in the UK regarding MPAs?  
  • Where are the MPAs located in the UK and Crown Dependency waters?  

Implementation Context: 

JNCC is responsible for identification of and providing a conservation advice on the MPAs in the UK offshore waters. The tool represents an interactive resource developed by JNCC, containing Information on the MPAs.  

Aspects / Objectives: 

The mapper displays MPA boundaries in the UK and Crown Dependency waters, and protected feature information for sites within the UK offshore waters. JNCC is responsible for identification of and providing conservation advice on the MPAs in the UK offshore waters (> 12 nautical miles from the coast). 


JNCC is responsible for providing advice to the government regarding the nature conservation in the UK offshore waters. JNCC uses information regarding the offshore environment to underpin advice on the selection of protected areas, their conservation objectives and condition. An information that JNCC or their partners collected, as well as third-party information with a permission to be shared, is presented in the mapper. 

Main Outputs / Results: 

The tool: 

  • Communicates the scale of the UK MPA network and allows users to explore the MPAs in the UK and Crown Dependency waters;
  • Presents the biological and geological evidence that underpinns the designation of offshore MPAs, as well as the latest monitoring evidence applied to support the conservation advice; 
  • Provides downloads and web services, and allows to pull the layers into their own mapping portals. 


Although the MPA mapper only concerns the MPAs within the UK and Crown dependency waters, the model and method could potentially be applicable in other regions, where data is available. 

Responsible Entity: 

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).