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Protected seas around the UK

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.

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