Marine protected areas mapping project

MPAs cover almost a quarter of UK waters with a diverse range of conservation goals, including protecting fish, seabirds and habitats.

Fishing regulations in MPAs also differ greatly, and no single source of information for such restrictions currently exists.

Kingfisher is currently working on a project which will provide consolidated data on the UK’s MPA network in formats which assist fishermen: 

  • A user-friendly website with simple maps showing the impact on fishing in each MPA
  • Fishing plotter files, allowing fishermen to import and view positional data and information about fishing restrictions for MPAs

These resources – which will be made available to fishermen free of charge via Kingfisher - will help to increase compliance with regulations; promote environmental protection and support responsible, sustainable fishing.

The document below provides an overview of the project including background, objectives, deliverables and timescales. 

What fishing restrictions exist in MPAs?

Not all MPAs have fishing restrictions. Where they do exist they may apply only to:

  • specified areas within an MPA
  • certain sizes of vessels
  • certain times of the year
  • certain fishing types

For example, demersal fishing or scallop dredging may be prohibited in an MPA in which static gear fishing is allowed.

Who manages MPAs

Management measures of MPAs depends on their location and number of nautical miles (nm) from the coast:

  • England: Inside 6nm - relevant local IFCA; 6-12nm - Marine Management Organisation
  • Scotland: Inside 6nm - RIFG; 6-12nm - Marine Scotland
  • Wales: Inside 12nm - Welsh Government
  • Northern Ireland: Inside 12nm - DAERA

Beyond 12nm, MPAs come under the Common Fisheries Policy.


For more information email Kingfisher or call 01472 252 307.