Consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs)

Closed 28 Sep 2022

Opened 6 Jul 2022


The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on the proposals to designate a number of candidate Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in English waters.

HPMAs are areas of the sea that allow the protection and full recovery of marine ecosystems. HPMAs are defined in the Benyon review and government response as “areas of the sea that allow the protection and recovery of marine ecosystems by prohibiting extractive, destructive and depositional uses and allowing only non-damaging levels of other activities to the extent permitted by international law”. By setting aside some areas of sea with high levels of protection, HPMAs will allow nature to recover to a more natural state, allowing the ecosystem to thrive.

We are consulting on five candidate HPMAs and following this consultation government will choose which of these to designate. The proposals cover a diverse range of species and habitats, from intertidal mudflats and biogenic reefs to kelp forests and mosaics of subtidal sedimentary habitats.

The consultation is an opportunity to provide your views on the five HPMAs which are candidates for designation, including their boundaries, and provide any relevant evidence you may have. Your response to this consultation, along with evidence we will gather from other sources including site visits, will be taken into account in determining which pilot HPMAs to designate and what the final boundaries of sites will be.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Trade Unions
  • Food Business Operators
  • Food Industry
  • All Marine Users
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Coastal Members of Parliament
  • Coastal local authorities
  • Recreation sector
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Energy sector
  • Industries and professional services
  • Ports and Harbour Authorities and Estuaries
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • IFCAs
  • Angling Organisations and Trade
  • Fishing Focus individual recipients
  • Environmental professional services
  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Commercial Fisheries Organisations
  • Fisheries Producer Organisations
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Policy Teams
  • Local Authorities
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Member of the General Public
  • Fishermen
  • Energy suppliers
  • Leisure industry
  • Tourism industry
  • Shellfish Cultivators
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Public Bodies
  • Consultants
  • Beach Users
  • Stakeholders


  • Natural environment
  • Local nature partnerships
  • Biodiversity
  • Marine
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Marine licensing
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Fish stocks
  • Shellfish
  • Sea angling
  • Science
  • Conservation
  • Marine Conservation
  • Marine fisheries
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Shellfish
  • Access to countryside and coast
  • Wildlife management
  • Protecting wildlife