Highly Protected Marine Areas - Call for Evidence

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Closes 31 Oct 2019


1. In June 2019, the government announced an independent review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). The review is being undertaken by a seven strong independent panel led by Richard Benyon MP. Details are available at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highly-protected-marine-areas-hpmasreview-2019/highly-protected-marine-areas-review-terms-of-reference 

2. HPMAs represent the upper end of environmental protection and could complement the existing network of Marine Protected Areas, allowing vulnerable marine wildlife to recover, free from damaging human activities. The geographical scope of the Review covers English inshore and offshore waters and Northern Irish offshore waters.  
3. The Review seeks to establish an evidence-based process and criteria for selecting HPMAs and, if supported by the evidence, to recommend potential locations for pilot sites. The Panel is considering the environmental and societal benefits of establishing HPMAs alongside the potential economic and social impacts on businesses and individuals who use the sea. We want to take into account the views of fishers, conservation bodies, marine industries, local communities, other interested groups and the wider public.  
4. The advisory panel are carrying out visits around the country to hear from as many people as possible but we want this Call for Evidence to provide everyone with the chance to contribute to the Review. The responses we receive will help to inform and shape the panel’s final recommendations which are aiming to be published in early 2020. Please note that the panel will not reply directly to responses. 
5. The questions are a guide and so please do not feel you must answer them all or write a great length. We have not set a word limit as we appreciate that some individuals or organisation may wish to reply in detail. However, we do ask that where possible answers are kept to 500 words or less.

Call for evidence objectives  

6. This Call for Evidence seeks your views on whether and how HPMAs could be introduced. It will support the Review by allowing a diverse range of opinions, experience and expertise to be heard. In particular we want to hear about your views on:

  • Aims, opportunities and challenges of HPMAs
  • HPMA site selection
  • Implementation and management of HPMAs
  • Past experiences of MPAs 
What is your name?
What is your email address?

You will automatically receive an acknowledgement email when you submit your response.

1. Would you like your response to be confidential?

Confidentiality information

A summary of responses to this consultation will be published on the government website at: www.gov.uk/defra. An annex to the consultation summary will list all organisations that responded but will not include personal names, addresses or other contact details.

Defra may publish the content of your response to this consultation to make it available to the public without your personal name and private contact details (e.g. home address, email address, etc).

If you click on ‘Yes’ in response to the question asking if you would like anything in your response to be kept confidential, you are asked to state clearly what information you would like to be kept as confidential and explain your reasons for confidentiality.  The reason for this is that information in responses to this consultation may be subject to release to the public or other parties in accordance with the access to information law (these are primarily the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)).  We have obligations, mainly under the EIRs, FOIA and DPA, to disclose information to particular recipients or to the public in certain circumstances.   In view of this, your explanation of your reasons for requesting confidentiality for all or part of your response would help us balance these obligations for disclosure against any obligation of confidentiality.  If we receive a request for the information that you have provided in your response to this consultation, we will take full account of your reasons for requesting confidentiality of your response, but we cannot guarantee that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances.

If you click on ‘No’ in response to the question asking if you would like anything in your response to be kept confidential, we will be able to release the content of your response to the public, but we won’t make your personal name and private contact details publicly available.

There may be occasions when Defra will share the information you provide in response to the consultation, including any personal data with external analysts. This is for the purposes of consultation response analysis and provision of a report of the summary of responses only.

This consultation is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office  “Consultation Principles” and be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation-principles-guidance.

If you have any comments or complaints about the consultation process, please address them to:


Consultation Co-ordinator
6thFloor, Nobel House
17 Smith Square,
London, SW1P 3JR.

Or email: consultation.coordinator@defra.gov.uk

2. Are you responding to this call for evidence on behalf of an organisation or as an individual?
2a. If responding on behalf of an organisation:
2b. If responding as an individual which of the following best describes your current employment status? Tick all that apply.
2c. If employed or retired, briefly describe the main business activity of your company /organisation? If you are self-employed, or looking for work, please indicate what type of work you do?
3. How old are you? Please tick one of the boxes below.
4. What is your gender? Please tick one of the boxes below
5. Which region of the UK do you live in? Please tick one of the boxes below
6. Which of the following best describes where you live? Please tick one of the boxes below.