Watergate Bay Cornwall Natasha Ewins

Making Welsh Marine Protected Areas matter

With half of Welsh waters having some form of legal protection they should be in a healthy state, but this isn't the case.

Wales is not yet meeting the four aims of Sustainable Management of our Natural Resources (SMNR)

Almost half of our inshore, internationally important species and habitats aren’t thriving and are in 'unfavourable condition'. In the UK, only 5% of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have banned damaging bottom trawling activity. In Wales, this ban covers Skomer Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) - just one of 139 Welsh MPAs.

We're working to change this.

Seabirds on Skomer Island Wales John Archer-Thompson

Seabirds on Skomer Island, Wales

Credit: John Archer-Thompson

Collaboration is key to success.

We sit on several groups and work in partnership with many other organisations such as Wales Environment Link.

The benefits of healthier seas are endless. Welsh seas could lock up more carbon, growing its already large carbon stores; support people’s mental and physical wellbeing; provide us with nutritious food; and more.

To achieve all this, we need a green and blue recovery that guides wider government policies. We must improve the management of Marine Protected Areas and retain the protection of nationally important habitats or species.

Activities need to be monitored to make sure they’re not negatively impacting our environment and, if they are, should be either stopped or compensated for.

Learn more about our work in Wales

Find out more