Use our interactive map to explore Marine Protected Areas and areas of conservation around the UK, and see where damaging fishing activity is still happening within our protected seas.

In order to protect fragile ecosystems and keep carbon stored in the seabed, the Marine Conservation Society is calling for bottom-towed fishing gear to be banned from all Marine Protected Areas with protected seabed habitats. Currently just 4% of these areas are protected from bottom-trawling (the green areas on our map).

Our MPA locator map uses a traffic light system:

  • Red = unrestricted use allowed of bottom-towed fishing gear
  • Amber = consultation in progress to ban bottom-towed fishing gear
  • Green = bottom-towed fishing gear banned

Why fishing data matters

By recording fishing activity data, we can assess which marine areas need better protection, push for the introduction of byelaws and hold the fishing industry to account.

In areas where bottom-towed fishing gear has already been banned, we must ensure proper monitoring of fishing activity and enforcement of the rules to allow vulnerable marine habitats to recover. For more information, see Why Marine Protected Areas are important.