JNCC 2016 Harbour Porpoise Possible Special Area of Conservation Consultation

This consultation has now closed to responses


The joint JNCC/NRW consultation on five sites in Welsh, Northern Ireland, English and offshore waters ended on 3 May 2016. JNCC and relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies are assimilating responses received and preparing a consultation report. This will provide advice to Ministers who ultimately, will make the decision with regards to designation. Publication of this consultation report is taking longer than the 12 weeks anticipated due to the complexity of the consultation and the need to fully consider all options. The report will be published as soon as possible.


The consultation ran between 19 January - 3 May 2016



Harbour porpoise, Firth of Clyde © Neil Golding

These webpages continue to host the material and papers produced as part of the identification and consultation process for harbour porpoise pSACs.  Please note, some documents are now historic records rather than current documents – we will be publishing any updated or new information as and when it is available, including a post-consultation report which will summarise the responses received and any resulting action to be taken with regards to the proposals.


There are five harbour porpoise pSACs proposed, which were divided between two simultaneous consultations lead by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW). 


JNCC also scheduled six open public drop-in events in support of the consultation, further details of which can be found on our stakeholder events page.

The five possible SACs split between two consultations


SAC Network Consultation 2016

SAC Network consultation 2016



What we consulted on


We consulted on:

a) the scientific basis on which the proposed boundaries are based, as described in each of the Selection Assessment Documents, and

b) the draft UK Socio-Economic Impact Assessment, analysing the possible impacts of the sites on human activity, including likely management scenarios for each site.


These documents are listed and linked in the ‘Consultation Documents’ section below. Supporting documentation with further detail of how the boundaries were determined is provided as background information.


A list of questions and answers is available as an initial reference should you have any queries regarding the consultation and the information supplied. If your answer is not found within the documents or on the pSAC web pages, please contact a member of our team at  .


Primary consultation documents

Bristol Channel Approaches pSAC

North Channel pSAC

Southern North Sea pSAC


Draft Socio-Economic Impact Assessment 

A report analysing the potential positive and negative impacts associated with the pSAC proposals regarding the interaction of the proposals with human activities.


Supporting documentation for each site

Bristol Channel Approaches pSAC

North Channel pSAC

Southern North Sea pSAC


Supporting documentation for the site network

Various documents have been produced in support of the identification and consultation of the harbour porpoise pSACs. These documents illustrate the process to date, and summarise the sites as they are currently proposed.  


Site identification documents


What happens now


The SNCBs have begun to collate the consultation responses to produce a report with details of how comments have been considered. Where relevant, the advice to Ministers will be re-drafted to include information gathered during consultation, in order to inform the decision to designate.


Ministers will take the final decisions on whether to proceed with the pSACs based solely on the scientific case presented following the initial selection process and consultation responses.


If you have any queries on the offshore pSAC consultation process not covered by the material on our website, please contact a member of our team at  


For further information on Special Areas of Conservation in the UK, visit the JNCC SAC webpage