Fucoid seaweed Georgie Bull

There are currently 371 Marine Protected Areas covering 38% of UK seas. We're working to make sure these are effective in recovering the ocean's health.

The network of Marine Protected Areas around the UK is designed to protect important places home to rare or threatened plants, animals and habitats. From the seabed to sea birds which fly above the surface, protecting UK seas lays the foundation for a vibrant and productive ocean and, as a result, coastal communities.

We work to support the establishment of protected areas that work as tools to effectively protect our ocean. Experts suggest we should be aiming for at least 30% of UK waters being highly or fully protected to help key species, habitats and ecosystems recover and thrive.

Our MPA Reality Checker tool shows the areas of protection and conservation around the UK coastline. You can also see what fishing activity is still happening in our protected seas, showing just how vital it is that they're managed properly.

Scottish seascape Sue Ranger

Oysters in the Dornoch Firth

We’re a proud founding partner of the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project, reintroducing native oysters to the Dornoch Firth.

Spiny Seahorse in Seagrass Georgie Bull

Saving seagrass in Plymouth

We're protecting seagrass meadows in Plymouth from damaging, traditional moorings.

Eddystone lighthouse.JPG


Beneath the waves the Eddystone reef falls victim to damaging human activity. We've been working to protect this incredible landscape.

Boats on Mundesley beach, Norfolk - Alice Tebb

Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds

The Norfolk coast is home to the longest chalk reef in Europe, possibly the world: the Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds. We're working to protect it with the local community.

Fish boat heading out to sea Hastings Sue Ranger


The coast and seas of Sussex are home to an incredible array of underwater landscapes and marine life. Through various projects we're working to protect and recover these vital ecosystems.

Snakelocks Anemone on Seagrass Georgie Bull

Natur Am Byth!

We're working in partnership with nine organisations across Wales to deliver Natur am Byth! (NaB!). Led by Natural Resources Wales, NaB! will help save threatened species across Wales. By working together, we can better understand and find solutions to the issues facing Wales’ most endangered wildlife, marine life and habitats, and help them recover.

Firth of Forth

Restoration Forth

In the Firth of Forth, native oyster beds used to cover an area with a combined size of modern Edinburgh, but by the early 1900s, they were all fished out. Partnering with Heriot-Watt University, we’re working to restore native oysters in the area.

Fish underwater - Alison_Moore - RS34068__P9122360


We're surveying fish in Plymouth Sound as part of a new project, PLYMFISH, to better understand fish populations in this well-managed Marine Protected Area.

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