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.