Independent report

Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) review 2019

The review recommends that Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) should be introduced in England.



In June 2019, the Secretary of State announced a review to examine whether and how the strongest protections for areas of sea, known as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), could be introduced.

The review concludes that HPMAs are an essential component of the Marine Protected Areas network, and government should introduce them into Secretary of State waters. It provides 25 recommendations covering what HPMAs are and how they should be identified and managed.

The review was led by former Environment and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon. The review ran from June 2019 to June 2020.

The review considered the waters for which the Secretary of State has responsibility: the English inshore and offshore and Northern Ireland offshore zones.

Updates to this page

Published 8 June 2019
Last updated 17 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. The link to Marine Strategy Part One has been updated in Final Report - Executive Summary.

  2. Added the final report and executive summary.

  3. First published.

Sign up for emails or print this page