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Queenie Corner MPA

Status: Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ)

Queenie Corner MCZ is located in the western part of the Irish Sea. The seabed is dominated by mud habitat and sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities.


Queenie Corner MCZ is an offshore site located in the western part of the Irish Sea covering an area of 146 km2. The site has been designated for the features Subtidal mud and Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities. It reaches depths of 25–50 m and supports a wide range of species from crustaceans to bivalves. This site provides an important contribution towards the protection of Subtidal mud in the Marine Protected Area network in the Irish Sea.

More detailed site information can be found in the Summary section below.

Map displaying the Queenie Corner MPA boundary and associated protected feature data. Visit JNCC's MPA Mapper to further view and explore data for this MPA.

Map showing Queenie Corner Marine Protected Area and linking to the MPA mapper


Legislation behind the designation: Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009)


Protected Features

Protected Feature Feature Type
Subtidal mud Broad-scale habitat
Sea-pen & burrowing megafauna communities Feature of Conservation Importance

Specific information on the conservation objectives relating 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 section and in JNCC’s MPA Mapper and the evidence underpinning this can be viewed in the Monitoring and Evidence section below.


Site Timeline

The diagram below is a summary of the key milestones involved in the selection and designation of Queenie Corner MCZ. More detail can be found within the Relevant Documentation section and in the post-consultation advice.


Queenie Corner MCZ was originally an area proposed for consideration as an MCZ by Northern Irish fishermen.
JNCC provided pre-consultation advice on the features found within Queenie Corner proposed MCZ.
June 2018 – July 2018
Queenie Corner MCZ included in formal public consultation on Tranche Three MCZs.
May 2019
Tranche Three designations announced – Queenie Corner MCZ designated.


Relevant Documentation

The documents referred to below and any other historical documents relating to Queenie Corner MCZ were produced during the selection and designation process and therefore may be out of date.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.

  • Queenie Corner 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: July 2020

Information for this site summary was adapted from JNCC’s scientific advice to Defra on Queenie Corner MCZ and incorporates any further information gathered since this advice was produced. Please refer to the Relevant Documentation section for further details and information sources.


Site overview

Queenie Corner MCZ, located in the western part of the Irish Sea, covers an area of 146 km2 and reaches depths of 25–50 m. The site protects Subtidal mud and Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities, in turn supporting a wide range of species. Nephrops norvegicus, shrimps and crabs form burrows and mounds which characterise the fine mud sediment. The mud habitats contain a variety of species such as sea-pens, worms, bivalves, urchins, sea cucumbers, brittlestars and anemones.

Queenie Corner was originally recommended by Northern Irish fisherman. JNCC first provided pre-consultation advice in 2016 on the designation of Subtidal mud and Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities features found within this site. Additional ground-truthing data has since been received from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland (AFBI) and the Marine Institute Irish Sea surveys regarding Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities, including data on Nephrops norvegicus burrow densities supporting presence of the feature across the site. The habitat map from AFBI, interpreted from multibeam data and ground-truthing data maps Subtidal mud across the entirety of the site.

Further detail on the evidence for this MCZ can be found in the Monitoring and Evidence section.

Site location: Co-ordinates for this MCZ can be found in the Designation Order listed in the Relevant Documentation section.

Site area: 146 km2 (roughly the same size as Cardiff).

Site depth range: 25.1–50 m.

Charting Progress 2 biogeographic region: Western Irish Sea.

Site Boundary description: The site boundary is delineated predominantly by the Territorial Seas Limits and the Exclusive Economic Zone, in line with the guidance provided by the MCZ project Ecological Network Guidance (ENG). The site boundary that was originally recommend was redrawn so that it did not overlap with the Welsh Fishery Zone.


Monitoring and Evidence

Last updated: November 2023

Site specific data

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.

All of the data for this MCZ have been collected by third parties. Data from these surveys provide direct evidence confirming the presence of the protected features within the site.


Knowledge Gaps

As part of the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS), JNCC led the development of a UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Strategy, working with partners across the UK monitoring community. The Strategy spans UK territorial and offshore waters, focusing on biodiversity in the wider environment and within Marine Protected Areas.  Its aim is to implement efficient, integrated monitoring of marine biodiversity to provide the evidence needed for all the UK's policy drivers.

The evidence collected during MPA monitoring surveys is used in combination with other available evidence to:

  • Enable assessment of condition of the features within sites;
  • Contribute to the 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.

More detail on offshore MPA monitoring can be found on the Offshore MPA monitoring webpage. A list of monitoring surveys and relevant reports can be found  on the MPA monitoring survey reports webpage.

If you are aware of any additional information not referred to in the Relevant Documentation section or above, please contact us.


Conservation Advice

Last updated: January 2021

Updated formal conservation advice for this MPA was produced in January 2021. Further information on the approach used to develop this advice is available on our 'Conserving MPAs' webpage, along with a Glossary of Terms used in JNCC's 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). 

Document Overview
Background Information Explains the purpose of the advice and when it must be referred to.

Conservation Objectives

Supplementary Advice on the Conservation Objectives (SACO)

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).

  • Site condition presents our up-to-date understanding of the condition of features within the site;
  • Conservation benefits which the site can provide, these help you understand what is important about the site and why it needs protecting; and
  • Conservation measures which JNCC considers are needed to support achievement of the conservation objectives. These provide clarity around measures needed to support restoration or maintenance of the feature(s) within the site.
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.  


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