Introduction: the impacts of non-licensable activities on Marine Protected Areas (MMO project MMO1136)


The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has a remit to provide a planning approach to the management of the activities, resources and assets in England’s waters which aims at ensuring sustainable development in the marine environment. The MMO has an obligation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to further the conservation objectives of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including using its byelaw making powers and marine planning policy to directly or indirectly manage non-licensable activities.

The MMO have commissioned the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS) at the University of Hull to build on previous work to develop a robust evidence base on the full range and types of marine non-licensable activities, their spatial extent, current and potential intensity, and risk of impact on MPAs within English (inshore and offshore) watersThe types of MPAs included within this study are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds and designated Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

Sometimes, the occurence of non-licensable activity within MPAs may not be well understood (for example, in terms of the location or the intensity of the activity in time and space). The project will help to identify:

  • where non-licensable marine activities are happening;

  • at what intensity; and

  • whether there is any evidence of impact on designated Marine Protected Area features.

This survey is intended to support this project by gathering evidence on non-licensable activities occurring in English MPAs. The questionnaire will ask you to consider those MPAs that you are most familiar with and will seek to collect information on:

  • your knowledge of non-licensable marine activities in specific MPAs (including the extent, frequency, duration, and participation levels for different activities);

  • the potential impacts of non-licensable activities on MPA features; and

  • current management controls.

We anticipate that the survey should take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

If you feel you can provide more of a national overview of activities and would like to discuss these with the project team, please contact us by phone (01482 466762) or by email: Sue Boyes ( / Steve Barnard (

The closing date for the survey is Sunday 30th September 2018.