DEFRA introduces and seeks views on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA)

Published on: 21 July 2022

environment 07072022

In 2021, the UK government committed to piloting a number of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in response to the Benyon Review. Five candidate sites have now been identified.

HPMAs are areas of the sea that allow the protection and full recovery of marine ecosystems. HPMAs are defined in the Benyon review and government response as “areas of the sea that allow the protection and recovery of marine ecosystems by prohibiting extractive, destructive and depositional uses and allowing only non-damaging levels of other activities to the extent permitted by international law”. By setting aside some areas of sea with high levels of protection, HPMAs will allow nature to recover to a more natural state, allowing the ecosystem to thrive.

The following five areas have been selected as candidate sites –

Allonby Bay

Dolphin Head

Inner Silver Pit South


North East Farnes Deep

The consultation seeks views and additional information on each of these sites to inform a final decision as to which HPMAs should be designated.

Click here to view and respond to the consultation.
The consultation closes on 28
September 2022.

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