North-East of Haig Fras MPA
Status: Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ)
North-East of Haig Fras MCZ is located in the Western Channel and Celtic Sea region, 100 km off the south-west coast of England and to the north of the Isles of Scilly.
Located 100 km off the south-west coast of England, North-East of Haig Fras MCZ is north of the Isles of Scilly in the Western Channel and Celtic Sea region. The western boundary of the site follows the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone boundary between the UK and Ireland.
The site is an area of continental shelf that is predominantly sand and mud with a band of coarse sediment across the centre of the site. North-East of Haig Fras MCZ protects the habitats Subtidal coarse sediment, Subtidal sand, and Subtidal mud as representative examples of offshore habitats in UK waters. These habitats typically support a range of animal species such as segmented worms, sponges, molluscs and echinoderms, including sea urchins and starfish. Like the nearby Greater Haig Fras and East of Haig Fras MCZs, this site may also support cnidarians, such as anemones, and a variety of crustaceans and fish species.
More detailed site information can be found in the Summary section below.
Map displaying the North-East of Haig Fras MPA boundary and associated protected feature data. Visit JNCC's MPA Mapper to further view and explore data for this MPA.
Legislation behind the designation: Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009)
|Protected Feature||Feature Type|
|Subtidal coarse sediment||Broad-scale habitat|
|Subtidal sand||Broad-scale habitat|
|Subtidal mud||Broad-scale habitat|
Specific information on the conservation objectives related to this site is provided in the Conservation Advice section.
The acquisition of new data may result in updates to our knowledge on feature presence and extent within this site. The most up-to-date information is reflected on the map on this page and in JNCC’s MPA mapper and the evidence underpinning this can be viewed in the Evidence section.
The diagram below is a summary of the key milestones involved in the selection and designation of the North-East of Haig Fras MCZ. More detail can be found within the Relevant Documentation section and in the post-consultation advice.
The documents referred to below and any other historical documents relating to North-East of Haig Fras MCZ were produced during the selection and designation process and therefore may be out of date. This Site Information Centre is the most up-to-date source of information for this MPA, and will reflect any additional information gathered since these documents were produced. Further information about the Marine Conservation Zone site selection process and historic MCZ advice is available on JNCC's MCZ webpage.
- North-East of Haig Fras MCZ Designation Order – the official description of the site designation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The Designation Order includes boundary co-ordinates, Conservation Objectives and a list of the designated features. More information on the designation, including a designation map and factsheet is available on Defra's website.
- JNCC's pre- and post-consultation scientific advice for features proposed for designation in 2019.
- JNCC's formal conservation advice for this site is available in the Conservation Advice section.
Last updated: June 2020
Information for this site summary was adapted from JNCC’s scientific advice to Defra on North-East of Haig Fras MCZ and incorporates any further information gathered since the advice was produced. Please refer to the Relevant Documentation section for further details and information sources.
North-East of Haig Fras MCZ is situated approximately 100 km off the south-west coast of England to the north of the Isles of Scilly. The site is an area of continental shelf that is predominantly sand and mud with a band of coarse sediment across the centre of the site. Depths within the site range between 50–100 m and it covers an area of 464.3 km2.
North-East of Haig Fras MCZ protects examples of the seabed habitats Subtidal coarse sediment, Subtidal sand, and Subtidal mud. Animal species typically supported by these habitats include bivalve molluscs, sponges, anemones, worm species and echinoderms such as sea urchins and brittlestars, as well ascrustaceans such as the hermit crab (Pagurus bernhardus) and a variety of fish species.
The site was first proposed for designation in 2011 by the Finding Sanctuary regional MCZ project group. Evidence supporting the designation of these broad-scale habitat features is provided by British Geological Survey data and UKSeaMap.
Further detail on the evidence for this MCZ can be found in the Evidence section.
Site location: Co-ordinates for this MCZ can be found in the Designation Order listed in the Relevant Documentation section.
Site area: 464.3 km2.
Site depth range: 50–100 m.
Charting Progress 2 Biogeographic Region: Western Channel and Celtic Seas.
Site boundary description: The site is a simple polygon with four boundary lines as per the guidance provided by the MCZ project Ecological Network Guidance (ENG). The western boundary of the site aligns with the UK Exclusive Economic Zone boundary. The boundary of the North-East of Haig Fras MCZ has not changed since it was recommended by the Finding Sanctuary regional MCZ project in 2011.
Last updated: June 2020
There are a range of data that underpin this MCZ. The full overview of these data used to support site identification along with information on confidence in feature presence and extent is available in JNCC’s Tranche Three MCZ pre-consultation and post-consultation scientific advice for offshore Marine Conservation Zones proposed for designation in 2019. JNCC will be adding relevant survey data for this MPA to its MPA mapper in due course.
The evidence base for North-East of Haig Fras MCZ has been built solely from UKSeaMap and British Geological Survey data. The British Geological Survey data provide direct evidence confirming the presence of the protected features within the site.
Last updated: January 2021
Updated formal conservation advice for this MPA was produced in January 2021. Further information on the approach used to develop conservation advice packages is available on our 'Conserving MPAs' webpage along with a Glossary of Terms used in JNCC conservation advice and a short video explaining how to use the conservation advice packages.
You must refer to this advice if you:
- undertake an MCZ assessment for a plan or project that could impact the site;
- provide information for such an assessment;
- respond to specific measures to further the conservation objectives for the site; and
- consider the need to put new or additional management measures in place.
You may also find it useful to refer to this advice if you:
- carry out any other activity that could impact the site.
We will engage with stakeholders to identify any lessons which JNCC can learn from customers who have used the advice, with a view to continuing to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.
The following table provides an overview of the components of the conservation advice, and provides hyperlinks to each of the products for this MPA. These elements together form JNCC’s formal conservation advice for this site and should be read in conjunction with each other. This advice reflects the most up-to-date evidence held by JNCC (correct as of January 2021).
|Background Information||Explains the purpose of the advice and when it must be referred to.|
|The Conservation Objectives set out the broad ecological aims for the site. JNCC provides supplementary advice in the SACO which is essential reading to support interpretation of these conservation objectives.
You can use these documents to assess the impacts of your planned activity on the important attributes of the site.
|Conservation Advice Statements||These statements provide a summary of the Supplementary Advice on the Conservation Objectives (SACO).
|Advice on Operations||
Provides information on the activities capable of affecting site integrity and therefore achievement of the site’s conservation objectives.
This is a starting point for determining potential management requirements. It does not take into account the intensity, frequency or cumulative impacts from activities taking place. It is simply to advise you of the possible adverse impacts that your activity can have on a MPA’s features.
Use the advice on operations to determine those pressures your activity causes that could harm the habitat and/or species features of the site.
These documents are available on JNCC's Resource Hub.
Activities and Management
Last updated: June 2020
Management status: To be assessed.
Information on the management for the site can be found in the North-East Haig of Fras MCZ Factsheet.
This site forms part of the UK's contribution to the OSPAR Commission's network of MPAs. As the UK is a contracting party to the OSPAR Commission, JNCC is committed to ensuring that the OSPAR MPA network is well-managed.
JNCC considers well-managed to mean the timely progress of an MPA around the 'MPA management cycle'. This involves:
- The documentation of appropriate management information – conservation objectives, advice on activities capable of affecting the protected features of a site, and spatial information on the presence and extent of the protected features of a site.
- The implementation of management measures – management actions considered necessary to achieve the conservation objectives of a site.
- Site condition monitoring programmes – collecting the information necessary to determine progress towards a site's conservation objectives.
- Assessment of progress towards conservation objectives – using available information to infer whether or not a site is moving towards or has achieved its conservation objectives.
Last updated: June 2020
For MPAs, data and evidence collected from monitoring activities will aim to:
- Enable assessment of condition of the features within sites;
- Enable assessment of the degree to which management measures are effective in achieving the conservation objectives for the protected features;
- Support the identification of priorities for future protection and/or management; and
- Enable Government to fulfil its national and international assessment and reporting commitments in relation to MPAs and help identify where further action may be required.
Information on monitoring of this MPA will be provided when it becomes available.