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Welsh MPA Network Completion project launched

News Item 2022

Welsh Government, in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and JNCC have today launched a period of informal stakeholder engagement for the Welsh MPA Network Completion project.

Welsh seas are diverse and dynamic. They are home to an array of marine life and important habitats, including dolphins and seals, rocky reefs and seagrass beds. The sea is entwined in Welsh culture, used for work and well-being by many people every year. Welsh Government is committed to delivering clean, healthy, safe, productive, and biologically diverse seas.

One way to achieve a resilient marine environment in Wales is through a network of well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which contribute to a wider, ecologically coherent network of MPAs around the UK. They help to keep areas of biological, social, and financial value in a healthy, productive state, with diverse life that benefits everyone.

Welsh Government, in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and JNCC are pleased to announce a period of informal stakeholder engagement for the Welsh MPA Network Completion project. Further information on the project, including details of the Areas of Search, Factsheets, FAQs, videos and more is available on the Welsh Government website. In the coming weeks there will be the opportunity to attend engagement sessions to learn more about the project and ask the project team questions, and to answer data calls to provide additional evidence to be used in the selection of sites for possible Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

The project’s aim is to build on the representation, replication and connectively of existing MPAs within Welsh waters. A network of MPAs will be legally protected to help conserve a variety of important habitats and species. This will ensure that the full range of habitats and species found in our waters are represented in the network. It will also help to keep Welsh seas healthy, resilient and brimming with life. A well-managed MPA network is a key tool for conserving the Welsh marine environment and the services it provides, now and for future generations.

Stakeholder engagement will be essential to inform and complete the Welsh contribution to the UK network. Welsh Government, NRW and JNCC have had continued engagement and regular meetings with stakeholders that represent a range of sectors that have an interest in the management and accessibility of Welsh waters. 

Further information on the project, and on how you can engage, is available on the project webpage.

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