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First progress report


The progress report you are about to download is tentative. The number, size, shape and location of potential Marine Conservation Zones are liable to change.  

The potential Marine Conservation Zones shown in the progress report are tentative. They are merely a progress report for assessment by the independent Science Advisory Panel.

The potential zones have been identified by the Regional Stakeholder Group of the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project.

The current map shows the early stage work of the Regional Stakeholder Group (four months into a 16-month process). The group want people to know that what is shown on this map:

  • Is very tentative.
  • Is based on limited information, which means that some people on the group itself have ‘strong concerns’ about the zones.
  • Is liable to change pending further information that is currently being gathered for the Stakeholder Group to use during the next stages of their negotiations.
  • Currently only considers offshore ‘broad-scale’ habitats on the seabed: mud, sand, gravel and rock. It does not yet consider inshore habitats.

Background note about the process:

  • The Regional Stakeholder Group is made up of 40 people, each of whom is drawn from a different sea use or interest that occurs in the Irish Sea project area.
  • The group is tasked with making recommendations to the government on the location and conservation objectives of Marine Conservation Zones which fulfill certain ecological criteria.
  • Neither the Regional Stakeholder Group nor the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project are tasked with recommending what measures will be needed to manage each potential Marine Conservation Zone.
  • The group is negotiating to identify Marine Conservation Zones that protect habitats, important marine life and natural features whilst, where possible, avoiding unnecessary negative effects on sea uses (such as commercial fishing, marine industries and recreation).
  • The Stakeholder Group negotiation process started in March 2010 and will end in June 2011, when the group’s recommendations will be submitted to the government.
  • The Science Advisory Panel is a group of independent experts whose main role is to evaluate the potential Marine Conservation Zones against ecological criteria.


Please note that if you choose to comment on this progress report, you should use the comment form available from the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project. We apologise that we cannot accept comments in any other format.

Comments will be passed on to the appropriate members of the Regional Stakeholder Group so that they will be available as the group develops the next progress report.

You can download the comment form from this web page, or request it by calling 01925 813 200 or emailing info@irishseaconservation.org.uk

Please return your comments to info@irishseaconservation.org.uk or Matthew Sutcliffe, ISCZ, Envirolink North West, Spencer House, 91 Dewhurst Road, Birchwood, Warrington, WA3 7PG.

Final recommendations for Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea project area will not be made to the government until June 2011.

ISCZ First Progress Report.pdf4 MB
First progress report comment form.doc237 KB


  • Our Regional Stakeholder Group's first progress report showing potential Marine Conservation Zones is now available to download.
  • Our new interactive map makes it easier for you to tell us which parts of the Irish Sea are important to you.
  • Find out how Marine Conservation Zones will be recommended in the Irish Sea.

  • Find out how you can have your say on Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea.

  • What are Marine Conservation Zones, where will they be and who chooses them?


HideWhat's New

  • Advice on Marine Conservation Zones from the science advisory panel is now available.

  • The next stage of consultation to create a marine nature reserve off the Isle of Man has been announced.

  • Over 50 people joined us at a drop-in days in Fleetwood and Barrow recently.