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Stakeholder group

Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea project area were recommended by a Regional Stakeholder Group made up of a broad cross section of people with interests in the Irish Sea.

We worked hard to ensure that the group gave a voice to the wide variety of people who use, value and make their living from the Irish Sea.

The stakeholder group consisted of around 40 people. The broad categories of activities and interests with a voice on the group were:

  • Industries
  • Commercial fishing
  • Natural environment
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Heritage
  • Navigation and safety
  • Owners
  • Research
  • Coastal forum
  • Regional bodies and authorities
  • Other countries and devolved administrations

Some of the categories covered a wide range of activities. The ‘industries’ category, for example, included oil and gas, aggregates extraction and offshore wind farms, amongst others. Similarly, the category for commercial fishing covered inshore and offshore fishing, mobile and static gear, and activities such as shell fishing.

The stakeholder group produced three sets of draft recommendations, which were available for people to comment on. The project received over 100 responses and these were made available to the Regional Stakeholder Group to consider.

A professional facilitator was in charge of setting up the stakeholder group. You can find out more about how the stakeholder group was set up by visiting the Resources page of our website and downloading the explanatory document.

The stakeholder group was responsible for recommending the location of Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea project area and what may be protected within them. The stakeholder group took into account the social and economic impact of proposed Marine Conservation Zones, as long as these did not undermine the creation of the wider network of Marine Protected Areas.

You can find out more about the different kinds of marine protection by downloading the guide from the Resources page of our website.

The stakeholder group met eight times. Each of the meetings was led and organised by an independent facilitator. The group's recommendations were passed to the government in August 2011.

The government will consider the group's recommendations before holding a full public consultation in 2012.

Following the public consultation, the government intends to begin designating Marine Conservation Zones later in 2012.




  • Find out how to contact your spokesperson on the Irish Sea Regional Stakeholder Group.

  • What are Marine Conservation Zones and who recommended them?  

  •  Find out how we are part of wider plans to extend marine protection around the UK and Europe.

  • Our online library helps you find out more about the Irish Sea and our project to recommend new areas of it for protection.