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Guide to Marine Protected Areas in the English Channel

Creator : Gwendal DOREL; Gerald MANNAERTS; Laetitia PETIT; Line VIERA
Date : 05/03/2015

Protected area designations, whether marine or land-based, are defined by nature conservation legislation (laws, decrees, codes, acts, etc.). A designation may be "national" or "international" under international classification standards.

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are mainly financed by public funds.


In France, the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the marine protected areas policy for which it relies on its regional services: inter-regional sea directorates (DIRM), regional directorates for the environment, urban planning and housing (DREAL) and on technical organisations that are mainly:

- Agence des aires marines protégées, the French MPA Agency, the lead technical adviser;

- Le Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, the lead scientific adviser;

- Le Conservatoire des espaces littoraux et des rivages lacustres ("Conservatoire du littoral");

- Local authorities and not-for-profit organisations, which may be MPA managers.


In the UK, several organisations are in charge of marine protected areas. There is no single organisation covering both the territorial sea and the zone beyond 12 nautical miles (NM). In the PANACHE area, national agencies are responsible for identifying and proposing marine protected areas to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA):

- Natural England for English territorial waters (up to 12 NM);

- Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) for UK offshore waters (beyond 12 NM).

In addition, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is responsible for managing activities impacting designated marine sites in British waters.

Other authorities provide their support and may put forward suggestions: Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA), Environment Agency, etc.


The information provided in this document is taken from reference texts produced by the two States. Only designations found within the boundaries of the PANACHE project are considered.


Working towards a better understanding of the MPA network in the English Channel!


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updated on 03/05/2015
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