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Conservation Advice for European marine sites (Reg 37)

If you are planning on carrying out work in a European Marine Site you must follow the advice set out in our Regulation 37 documents

Why do we manage our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)?

Effective management of the many uses and activities in the marine environment is crucial to safeguard our amazing marine wildlife and seascapes, and is equally important in preserving a future for those industries which rely on the coast and sea.

Wales' diverse coasts and seas support a wealth of habitats and species, generates income for the Welsh economy, and are a key part of our culture, history, landscape and recreation.

Our role in conservation advice

Conservation advice is produced under Regulation 37 (3) of the Habitats Regulations. It states that as soon as possible after a site becomes a European marine site (EMS), NRW (as the appropriate nature conservation body for Wales) must advise other relevant authorities as to:

  • the conservation objectives for that site
  • any operations which may cause deterioration of natural habitats or the habitats of species, or disturbance of species, for which the site has been designated

The first set of conservation advice was produced for our sites in 2003/04, the second set in 2009. The latest versions published in 2017 and 2018 are updates of the 2009 advice to include changes in the competent authority and legislation changes.

Advice on operations

The Habitat Regulations also calls for Natural Resources Wales to provide information on operations that might cause damage to a feature or features of the site. This information is contained within the conservation advice package, (Reg 37 document).

Regulation 37 Advice

Our conservation advice packages are useful if you are: 

  • developing, proposing or assessing an activity, plan or project that may affect the protected features of a European Marine Site (EMS)
  • preparing Habitats Regulations Assessments or Environmental Impact Assessments, for proposed plans or projects, that may affect the protected features of an EMS
  • planning measures to maintain or restore an EMS and its protected features
  • carrying out any activity that may affect the protected features of an EMS and need to find out how to operate within the law; or
  • monitoring and/or assessing the condition of the protected features 

There is already a lot of information available on the use of conservation advice for developers. The JNCC provide useful information on their website.

Marine Protected Area

Reg 37 Document

Non-interactive map


Menai Strait and Conwy Bay SAC

Menai Strait and Conwy Bay SAC Reg 37 Document

Menai Strait and Conwy Bay SAC Non-interactive map

Menai Strait and Conwy Bay SAC (JNCC)

Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau SAC

Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau SAC Reg 37 Document

Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau SAC Non-interactive map

Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau SAC (JNCC)

Cardigan Bay SAC

Cardigan Bay SAC Reg 37 Document

Cardigan Bay SAC Non-interactive map

Cardigan Bay SAC (JNCC)

Pembrokeshire Marine SAC

Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Reg 37 Document

Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Non-interactive map

Pembrokeshire Marine SAC (JNCC)

Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries EMS

Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries EMS Reg 37 Document

Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries EMS Non-interactive map

Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries (JNCC)

Northern Cardigan Bay SPA

Northern Cardigan Bay Reg 37 Document

North Cardigan Bay Non-interactive map

Standard data form (JNCC web site)


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