Northern Ireland‟s seas support around half of our wildlife, including many threatened marine animal and plant species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.
One of the ways of protecting our marine environment is through networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The key purpose of this strategy is to set out how we intend to use MPAs as one of the tools available to us to help protect and improve ecosystems in the Northern Ireland inshore region (i.e. within 12 nautical miles) and fulfil international and national legal obligations.
The Department is committed to the development of an ecologically coherent network of well managed MPAs both at Northern Ireland level and as a UK contribution to the wider OSPAR network