Assessing Welsh fishing activities in Marine Protected Areas

Skomer Marine Reserve picture

About the project

We’re working with the Welsh Government on a project to evaluate the impacts of fishing on features of Marine Protected Areas in Wales.

The Assessing Welsh Fishing Activities Project will:

  • Ensure we safeguard our Welsh Marine Protected Area network
  • Contribute to the sustainable exploitation of marine fish
  • Strengthen the resilience of the marine environment

To do this, we’ll be doing a number of assessments, starting with the highest risk interactions, such as mobile gears on sensitive reef habitats. Forty of these ‘purple’ rated assessments have now been provided to Welsh Government and can be found at the bottom of this page.

The outputs of this Project will support the aims of The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and the Habitats Directive by contributing to the sustainable management of the marine environment.

Find out more detail in the documents we’ll be using to guide the assessment work:

‘Purple Rated’ Assessments

NRW as statutory nature conservation advisor worked in partnership with Welsh Government as the regulator of Welsh marine fisheries to produce the following purple rated assessments. Welsh Government will use this transparent evidence base to inform their future management of Marine Protected Areas.

The assessments were all informed by an internal and external quality assurance exercise.

Each assessment contains the following:

  • a description of the feature
  • a description of the gear
  • an assessment of the various impact pathways between the gear and the feature
  • a description of where the features exists within each Marine Protected Area
  • a conclusion and references


Peat and clay exposures

Sabellaria spp. reef

Seagrass (SACs)

Submarine structures made by leaking gases

Subtidal bedrock reef

Subtidal boulder and cobble reef

Subtidal mussel bed on rock

Related document downloads

Matrix EXCEL [478.9 KB]
Last updated