Harbour porpoise consultation

Consultation opened on 19 January 2016. Closing date 04 May 2016.


The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is leading a consultation on proposed Special Areas of Conservation (pSAC) for harbour porpoise. Five sites have been proposed, including the North Channel pSAC which is located in Northern Ireland waters.

Consultation description

Harbour porpoise are listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive which means that Members States must take appropriate action to ensure that populations are at favourable conservation status.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has been working with all the UK Administrations to identify possible Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) for harbour porpoise.

Five sites have been proposed, a number of which include areas that are the responsibility of more than one administration.

In line with usual European marine site process:

JNCC is leading on sites for the Northern Ireland, England and offshore;

  • Bristol channel approaches – english and offshore area
  • North channel – Northern Ireland and offshore area
  • Southern north sea – english inshore and offshore

Natural Resources Wales is leading on Welsh sites

  • West Wales marine
  • North Anglesey marine
  • Bristol Channel approaches

Full details of the proposals for the site in Northern Ireland, the North Channel pSAC, along with links to all of the other pSACs undergoing consultation and details of how to respond can be found via the JNCC website at the following address: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/SACconsultation


Revision of calculations in relation to abundance

It has come to light that there is a calculation error in some of the consultation documents.  It concerns the way in which the proportions of the Harbour porpoise populations occurring within the proposed SACs have been estimated.  This error does not affect the evidence or methodology used to identify the proposed SACs or their boundaries. 

A Supplementary Advice Note which explains the error and the effect of the correction has been added to the consultation website.

If you have submitted comments on the consultation already, you will be able to re-submit a response. 

Please contact JNCC for further information:Porpoise@jncc.gov.uk

To allow time for you to consider these changes, the consultation period will be extended until midnight on 3 May 2016.

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