Published: 15th July 2022

Consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA)

Defra have launched a consultation is to seek 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.

The five candidate HPMAs include a site at Lindisfarne on the inshore Northumberland coast.

The consultation can be found at 

The closing date for comments is 29th September 2022.