Northern Ireland Inshore Marine Conservation Zones

This GIS layer describes the boundaries of 5 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs); 4 were designated in December 2016, under the Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 and Strangford Lough Marine Nature Reserve automatically became an MCZ under this section 13 of the afore mentioned legislation. An MCZ is a new type of Marine Protected Area (MPA), designated in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region to protect nationally important habitats, species and geological/geomorphological features, while fully taking into account any economic, cultural or social consequences of doing so. Rathlin, Waterfoot, Outer Belfast Lough and Carlingford Lough MCZs were designated on the 12th December 2016 after a full consultation process. The MCZ polygons were digitised to bound the protected features identified within the MCZ using the guidelines for MCZ designation (

The boundaries are subject to change if new verified evidence comes to light regarding the location or extent of the MCZ features which can include including habitats, species and geological/geomorphological features. Further information can be found at:

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creation Date September 2, 2019, 11:57 (UTC)
Topic Category
  • Biota
  • Boundaries
  • Environment
  • Geoscientific Information
  • Oceans

The Marine and Fisheries Division is a division of Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and is responsible for the protection, conservation and sustainable management of Northern Ireland’s marine areas. Through its various activities, the Department generates and maintains spatial datasets which underpin the evidence base informing the agency’s management decisions. The Department is committed to providing these spatial datasets free of charge within the legal and institutional frameworks governing public data. Although the Department has made every effort to prepare the spatial data and believes the information it contains is reliable within the context in which the data was originally generated or collected, errors within the data remain a possibility. Therefore the Department gives no warranty regarding the accuracy or suitability of the data for the data requestors intended use, and accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions, or for the use of, or results obtained from the use of this data, whether in part or in whole.

Frequency of Update Irregular
Contact Name DAERA Contact
Contact Email
Additional Information

Visibility False