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STRANGFORD LOUGH - Marine protected area (OSPAR )

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  • Country:
    United Kingdom
  • Name of MPA:
  • Designation in national language:
    Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Status:
  • Status year:
  • WDPA ID::
  • WDPA PID::
Marine Areas Network Map

General information

  • WDPA ID : 555557182
  • WDPA PID : 555557182
  • Original name of MPA: Strangford Lough
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Designation in national language: Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Designation in English: Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Designation type: international
  • IUCN Category: Not applicable
  • Reported marine area: 149,36 km²
  • Calculated marine area: 129,56 km²
  • Status: Designated
  • Status year: 2005
  • OSPAR region: Celtic Seas
  • Management authority name: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Management authority web site:

  • OSPAR conservation objectives/aims:
    • Protect, conserve and restore species, habitats and ecological processes which have been adversely affected by human activities
    • Prevent degradation of, and damage to, species, habitats and ecological processes, following the precautionary principle
    • Protect and conserve areas that best represent the range of species, habitats and ecological processes in the maritime area
  • Site conservation objectives/aims:
    • To maintain, conserve or restore biodiversity, natural heritage, habitats, species or landscapes with legal protection status
    • To maintain key ecological functions (spawning areas, nursery grounds, feeding zones, resting areas, areas of high productivity, etc.)
  • Additional conservation objectives/aims: Data not reported

Marine species and habitats

Warning : Non-exhaustive list of species and habitats with statuses, provided by the manager.

  • Inventory of marine species present with protection status
    • Species present
      Species under status
      Class WoRMS Code Species present
      (and which justified the designation )
      Bivalvia 138802 Arctica islandica registration lists
        140658 Ostrea edulis ( ) registration lists
      Liliopsida 145795 Zostera marina ( ) registration lists
      Mammalia 137080 Halichoerus grypus ( ) registration lists
        137084 Phoca vitulina ( ) registration lists
        137117 Phocoena phocoena registration lists
  • Inventory of marine habitats present with protection status
    • Present habitats (and which justified the designation )
      Espèces sous statut

      Habitats listed in Annex I to the 'Habitats' directive

      1330: Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae) ( )
      1150: Coastal lagoons ( )
      1160: Large shallow inlets and bays ( )
      1140: Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide ( )
      1170: Reefs ( )
      1310: Salicornia and other annuals colonizing mud and sand ( )

      EUNIS habitats

      A1.2 Moderate energy littoral rock
      A1.3 Low energy littoral rock
      A2.1 Littoral coarse sediment
      A2.2 Littoral sand and muddy sand
      A2.3 Littoral mud
      A2.4 Littoral mixed sediments
      A2.5 Coastal saltmarshes and saline reedbeds
      A2.6 Littoral sediments dominated by aquatic angiosperms
      A2.7 Littoral biogenic reefs
      A3.1 Atlantic and Mediterranean high energy infralittoral rock
      A3.2 Atlantic and Mediterranean moderate energy infralittoral rock
      A3.3 Atlantic and Mediterranean low energy infralittoral rock
      A4.1 Atlantic and Mediterranean high energy circalittoral rock
      A4.3 Atlantic and Mediterranean low energy circalittoral rock
      A5.1 Sublittoral coarse sediment
      A5.2 Sublittoral sand
      A5.3 Sublittoral mud
      A5.4 Sublittoral mixed sediments
      A5.5 Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment
      A5.6 Sublittoral biogenic reefs

      Habitats listed by the OSPAR Convention

      Intertidal mudflats ( )
      Intertidal Mytilus edulis beds on mixed and sandy sediments ( )
      Maerl beds ( )
      Modiolus modiolus beds ( )
      Sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities ( )
      Zostera beds ( )

Uses and activities

  • Human activities currently known to be occurring within the site:


  • Governing body:Data not reported
    • Structure(s) responsible for implementing management measures, the management plan and taking regulatory decisions and measures
      • National public authority: Data not reported
      • Regional or local public authority: Data not reported
      • International body : Data not reported

    Resources (staff, equipment and financial)

    • Number of permanent staff: Data not reported
    • Number of seasonal staff: Data not reported
    • Annual full-time equivalents: Data not reported
    • Number of MPA staff empowered to enforce the MPA regulations: Data not reported
    • Equipment and facilities available Data not reported
    • Average total annual budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual operating budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual equipment budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual external support budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Funding sources: Data not reported

    Management plan

    • Is the MPA management documented? Partial
    • Comments : Conservation objectives available online. Reviewed and effective from 1/4/2015. Habitat maps produced although not publicly available at present (will be via EMOD). Strangford Lough European Marine Site Management Scheme is available online
    • Are the measures to achieve the conservation objectives being implemented? Partial
    • Comments : Regs in place to prevent damage to the Reef - The Inshore Fishing (Prohibition of Fishing and Fishing Methods) Regs (NI) 1993 as amended, The Strangford Lough (Sea Fishing Exclusion Zones) Regs (NI) 2012, & Anchoring, Mooring and Diving Byelaws 2012.
    • Is monitoring in place to assess if measures are working? Yes
    • Comments : 6 yearly condition assessments are carried out, a programme of monitoring ASSI/SAC features is currently taking place. Regular ranger patrols are carried out for site integrity monitoring while a system of reporting damage is in place.
    • Is the MPA moving towards or has reached its conservation objectives? Partial
    • Comments : Results of 2007-2008 condition assessment found all features except Reef to be in favourable condition status. Measures are in place (already described) to reduce further damage to the Reef feature.
    • Number of management plan versions since the official designation of the MPA:


    • National legal status:
      • None
    • International legal status:
      • Habitats Directive - WDPA ID = 555535844 - N2000 ID = UK0016618
    • Type of enforcement within the MPA: Data not reported
    • Human uses and activities in the MPA subject to regulations: None


    • Type of monitoring programs implemented: Data not reported

    OSPAR criteria for designation

    • Ecological significance:
      • Important feeding, breeding, moulting, wintering or resting area
    • Level of importance of the biological diversity: Very high / Outstanding
    • Level of representativity: Very high / Outstanding
    • Level of sensitivity: Very high / Outstanding
    • Level of naturalness: Medium
    • Potential for restoration: Low / not significant
    • Degree of MPA acceptance by stakeholders: Medium
    • Potential for success of management measures: High
    • Potential future damage to the area by human activities: Low / not significant
    • Scientific value High

    Link other MPAs

    Consult the identity sheets of these MPAs

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      updated on 17/02/2016