Formal Consultation - MMO management of fishing activity impacts in marine protected areas - Stage 2

Closed 28 Mar 2023

Opened 17 Jan 2023


Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is seeking views on a draft byelaw, and associated Impact Assessment, to manage fishing using bottom towed gear in specified areas in 13 marine protected areas (MPAs). 

This byelaw is part of Stage 2 of the MMO's work to manage fishing in England’s offshore MPAs. Stage 2 focusses on the management of bottom towed gear over rock, and rocky and biogenic reef features. These features are some of the most sensitive to the impacts of bottom towed fishing. A call for evidence on a draft assessment of the impact of bottom towed gear on these features was held between 14 May and 10 July 2022.  

The MPAs considered in Stage 2 are listed and mapped below. This map is also available as a WebApp which can be accessed via this link.  

  • Cape Bank  

  • East of Haig Fras  

  • Farnes East  

  • Foreland  

  • Haig Fras  

  • Haisborough, Hammond and Winterton  

  • Hartland Point to Tintagel  

  • Goodwin Sands  

  • Land's End and Cape Bank  

  • North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef  

  • Offshore Brighton  

  • South of Celtic Deep  

  • Wight-Barfleur Reef  

Questions to consider 

  1. Do you have any additional information about the location, condition, or sensitivity of the designated feature(s)? 

  1. Do you have information about the level or nature of fishing activity within any of the MPAs? 

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed management measures? 

  1. How would the proposed management option affect you? Please provide supporting evidence if possible. 

  1. What other effects could the proposed management measures have? Please provide supporting evidence if possible. 

There is also an opportunity to share further information which you can upload as a document. 


Before providing any responses, please read the documentation below to familiarise yourself with the Stage 2 formal consultation process, the proposed byelaw and associated Impact Assessment, and the MMO’s Stage 2 MPA Fisheries Assessment.  

In your response, please reference any specific pages/paragraphs which your comments relate to. This will ensure any comments received are fully understood and of greatest value.  

You can provide a response to these questions for each MPA under their dedicated section. It is possible to respond only to specific sections of the survey; you do not need to provide comments on every MPA. Alternatively, if you would like to provide a response that relates to all sites, please provide comments under the ‘All sites’ section. 

There is a function to save your draft response as you go so that you can return later to complete your response. Alternatively, we recommend writing up your response in a separate document and copying and pasting your response into the survey. 

What happens next

Formal Consultation - MMO management of fishing activity impacts in marine protected areas - Stage 2 is now closed.

MMO will review the information received during this formal consultation to update and finalise the Stage 2 byelaw and associated Impact Assessment. If we conclude that the proposed management measures are required, MMO will make the byelaws and submit them to the Secretary of State for confirmation.     


  • All Marine Users


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Marine
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Marine licensing
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Fish stocks
  • Shellfish
  • Sea angling
  • Conservation
  • Marine Conservation
  • Consultations
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Policy and Delivery
  • Marine fisheries