Highly Protected Marine Areas Announcement

Highly Protected Marine Areas Announcement

Defra has announced that it intends to designate the first three Highly Protected Marine Areas in English waters.

Defra received over 900 responses to the consultation on candidate sites, demonstrating strong and varied views. The responses, and further evidence also provided, have been analysed.

The government intends to designate the MPAs; a modified version of  Allonby Bay, North East of Farnes Deep and Dolphin Head as set out in the consultation, and not to designate Lindisfarne or Inner Silver Pit South.

The revised Allonby Bay HPMA boundary allows for an area of recreational angling, including access for disabled anglers, and for other activities to continue due to its importance to the community and takes account of the needs of Maryport Harbour and the Port of Silloth while still delivering important biodiversity benefits.

The intention is to designate these three HPMAs before 6 July 2023, within a year of the consultation’s launch, in line with the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Defra has also announced that it will explore additional sites.

Any future candidate sites will also be subject to consultation.

The summary of responses on the gov.uk page