This analysis presents the results of a basin wide data collection exercise that aimed to provide the most up- to-date information relating to designated and classified Marine Protected Areas in the North Sea, for the 8 countries specified in the project brief. The МРА challenge has been successful in collating this information, although large gaps were seen in certain data categories, such as information relating to the management of MPAs.
The data are analysed with a view to discover whether the North Sea МРА network constitutes a representative and coherent network as described in Article 13 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This analysis presents the results of a series of spatial and statistical tests of the ecological coherence of the North Sea's МРА network, based as far as possible on OSPAR's ecological coherence criteria. These tests are one of many ways marine users can test for representative and coherent network. These tests include coarse and fine proximity tests determined by the quality and availability of the data available for each test.