Birds on a beach
© Jack Holt

Our MPA story so far

We work at the heart of the campaign for legislation to protect our seas and create the conditions to set up an MPA network.

We collect over half a million petition signatures in support of Marine Protected Areas.

Hundreds of people, some in full dive gear, march with us to deliver 100,000 signatures supporting better protection for the marine environment to parliament.

A key milestone, the Marine and Coastal Access Act is passed for the UK.

2010 The Marine (Scotland) Act reaches the statute books.

MCS actively participates in the regional processes to identify Marine Conservation Zones in England. We run the online ‘Your Seas Your Voice’ project gathering over 20,000 votes and nominations for potential MPAs around the UK and gathering unique data about the use and value of sites.

Work with environmental law charity Clientearth results in a revised approach to management of European Marine Sites in the UK.

2,000 people marched on parliament in London to demand Marine Conservation Zones in English seas. Over 40,000 people respond to a public consultation and MCS contributes unique data on the value of proposed MPAs to wider society. The first 27 MCZs are announced along with a commitment for two further consultations in 2015 and 2016.

The revised approach to managing European Marine sites results in protection for the most vulnerable features including seagrass beds and reefs.

MCS and other NGOs called on Scottish Government to deliver the ‘best 29’ MPAs and, in July 2014, 30 new nature conservation MPAs were set up, including the largest in Europe.

Following a public consultation, a further 23 Marine Conservation Zones were designated in English waters bringing the total to 50.

Leading on from the ‘Seeking Balance’ project in Sussex, management measures come into force at newly designated Kingmere and Beachy Head West MCZs.

After the collaborative ‘Don’t Take the P’ campaign over 2,200km2 of inshore Scottish MPAs were protected from damaging fishing.

We successfully call for protection measures at Loch Carron, where scallop dredging had destroyed rich seabed wildlife.

Actions you can take

  1. Report your wildlife sightings
  2. Browse Marine Protected Areas

Did you know?…

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’