Terms of Reference for a Consultancy agreement on Marine Protected Areas (UK)


Closing date: 5 May 2021

Oceana in Europe is looking for a consultant to support our Marine Protected Areas campaign activities in the UK during 2021. In close coordination with the Oceana team, the consultant will influence the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the UK and strengthen coalitions with partners and allies, with a focus on Scotland. This will include the preparation and review of campaign materials (e.g., briefings, reports, press releases), as well as direct advocacy efforts targeting Scottish and other UK decision-makers. This is a Scotland-based, time-limited consultancy until the end of 2021.


Oceana’s mission

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organisation dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. Together, we can protect the world’s ocean.



While over 35% of UK waters are now designated as MPAs, most are not actually protected, especially against destructive fishing.  On paper, UK MPAs are the jewels in the crown of British marine life, but in reality they are often mere “paper parks”: there is little management or enforcement, and destructive human activities like bottom trawling and dredging are allowed to continue in most. In fact, an analysis by Oceana found that 97% of offshore UK MPAs were affected by bottom-trawling in 2019[1]. The last EU habitats assessment[2] for the North-East Atlantic reported that 71% of habitats were in an unfavourable status and the status of the remainder was unknown.

What is more, only a small fraction of the UK MPA network (0.01%) is strictly protected, in the form of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) otherwise known as marine reserves or no-take zones. However, these fully protected MPAs, which offer the highest level of restrictions, are also the most effective at conserving and restoring biodiversity[3] and bring with them considerable socio-economic benefits[4].

In addition to our work on MPAs, Oceana is part of the Our Seas coalition in Scotland, which is working to reinstate the inshore ban on bottom trawling around the coast. Ending trawling in valuable and vulnerable inshore habitats is essential for rebuilding fish populations and ensuring robust and resilient coastal ecosystems.


Project description

The MPA campaign team at Oceana in Europe is working to ensure that 30% of the UK’s seas are effectively protected, in particular from the impacts of the most destructive forms of fishing.


Duration of the project

From 17 May to 31 December 2021.


Purpose of the contract

The consultant will:

  • Set up and conduct advocacy meetings with decision makers (online or in-person, when travel is both permitted and safe).
  • Prepare and review technical and policy content (e.g. position papers, contributions to consultations, reports) as needed.
  • Prepare and review communication materials for use and distribution online and to media (e.g. social media content, press releases, op-eds, blogs, videos).
  • Organise and participate in events and in partner coordination meetings (online or in-person, when travel is both permitted and safe).



  1. In June 2021 draft letters to and establish contacts with the newly elected Scottish government regarding damaging bottom fishing in Scottish waters, including in MPAs.
  2. By July 2021 lead the development of a short advocacy strategy regarding marine protection in Scotland.
  3. By August 2021 develop a position paper identifying legal and scientific obligations to better manage Scottish MPAs and priority measures to be adopted.
  4. By September 2021 respond to Marine Management Organisation (MMO) public consultation on MPA byelaws.
  5. By September 2021 run social media actions featuring UK species impacted by bottom trawling and raise awareness of the need to reduce trawling in UK MPAs and coastal areas, including efforts to profile the issue in national and regional media (e.g. help draft op-eds and press releases or participate in events).
  6. By October 2021 hold at least one (virtual) event to push decision makers to more strongly protect key sites, including designation of ‘Highly Protected Marine Areas’.
  7. By November 2021 produce briefings, letters and social media materials highlighting the extent and continued nature of damaging fishing activities in UK MPAs and the related climate impacts.
  8. By November 2021 support Oceana’s advocacy and communication efforts in relation to international events, including possibly UNFCCC COP26.
  9. By December 2021 draft a position paper with recommendations for UK Highly Protected Marine Areas and contribute to the development of social media content to amplify the recommendations.
  10. By December 2021, support partner NGOs and coalitions, including through local engagements (e.g., events, press) to advocate to limit damaging fishing in MPAs and in inshore waters (Scotland).
  11. Throughout the consultancy contribute to advocacy efforts towards the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish government, the Scottish Parliament, Marine Scotland and other relevant policy makers; set up and attend meetings with these and other stakeholders, either online or in person.
  12. Until December 2021 participate in weekly MPA campaign meetings, ad-hoc campaign meetings, and partner coordination meetings.

 Oceana will review each deliverable, unless otherwise noted.


Expressions of interest

To express interest in this opportunity, please submit proposals by email to ljramos@oceana.org by May 5th including:

  • A detailed budget estimate.
  • An up-to-date CV of the individual(s) to be involved in delivery, or description of expertise for corporate entities.

Please mention “MPA Consultancy (UK)” in the email subject.


Data protection

FUNDACION OCEANA is the Controller of the Data Subject’s personal data and informs him/her that these data shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April (GDPR) and the Organic Law 3/2018 of 5 December (LOPDGDD), for a legitimate interest of the Controller, providing the following information on the processing:

  • Purpose of the processing: to include the Data Subject in the personnel selection processes, analysing the applicant’s profile with the aim of selecting the best candidate for the Controller’s vacancy.
  • Legitimacy of the processing: unequivocal consent clearly indicated by the Data Subject.
  • Data storage criteria: data will be stored for a maximum period of one year, after which the data will be erased, guaranteeing full respect for confidentiality both in the processing and subsequent destruction. To this effect, once this period has elapsed, and if you wish to continue participating in the Controller’s selection processes, please send us your CV again.
  • Updating data: in the event of any modification to your data, please inform us in writing as soon as possible in order to keep your data duly updated.
  • Data disclosure: Your data may be communicated to third parties because they are necessary to achieve the purpose of the treatment, or by legal obligation.
  • Rights of the Data Subject:
  • Right to withdraw consent at any time.
  • Right of access, rectification, portability and erasure of data and the limitation or objection to their processing.
  • The right to file a claim with the Spanish Supervisory Authority (www.aepd.es) if you consider that the processing does not comply with the current legislation.

Contact information to exercise their rights: FUNDACION OCEANA. GRAN VIA, 62-7 – 28013 MADRID (Madrid). Email: europe@oceana.org.   


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/09/revealed-97-of-uk-offshore-marine-parks-subject-to-destructive-fishing

[2] https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/biodiversity/state-of-nature-in-the-eu

[3] https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/article/75/3/1166/4098821

[4] http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Mb8nUAphh%2BY%3D&tabid=82