Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an essential management tool for conserving marine resources and protecting marine wildlife. A well-managed network of MPAs will help to restore and build resilience into our marine environment, playing an important role in the recovery and sustainable management of our seas. This will have cumulative, long term benefits as the marine Natural Capital – the assets and services provided by our seas – of Northern Ireland’s environment grows.
- Over 50% of Northern Ireland’s biodiversity is found within the sea, but many habitats species and habitats are damaged or declining.
- A well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) will help our seas withstand the increasing demands we place on them and provide benefits to our economy, education and health.
- Implementing effective management plans for all MPA sites is crucial to ensure potentially harmful activities are regulated and conservation objectives are achieved.
Marine Protected Areas Species and Habitat Gaps
Within the Northern Ireland MPA network, there are a number of habitat and species gaps which need to be designated in order to further our progress towards and ecologically coherent network of MPAs. Check out the fact-sheets below which highlight some of these species and habitats.