This three years long project focuses on the on-going efforts to establish an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas (MPAs) as required under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCCA). The project aims to capture the key social and ecological dimensions of marine conservation law at this turning point by a) critically assessing the role played by marine conservation law in making the protected seascape resilient and b) looking at the impacts of marine conservation law on the identities and roles of sea users and other stakeholders. It is hoped that the project will not only contribute to academic literature in this area but will also make meaningful policy recommendations. Methodologically, desk-based analysis of marine conservation law complements fieldwork in three case study areas in England to compare different realities.
The project explores legal issues surrounding the establishment and governance of the marine protected areas network in English waters and its social and ecological implications. Using a case study approach, the project draws on stakeholders' perception and practices of MPAs and how they are affected by the ongoing implementation of Part V of the Marine and Costal Access Act 2009.