To represent the views of the wider marine biological community, the MBA regularly contributes evidence and advice provided by our Members to government consultations and parliamentary inquiries. We seek to collate the opinions and expertise of our Members to provide a clear, independent and unified voice to decision-makers on behalf of the marine biological community.

What are consultations?

The UK code of practice on policy consultations states that Formal, written, public consultation will often be an important stage in the policymaking process. Consultation makes preliminary analysis available for public scrutiny and allows additional evidence to be sought from a range of interested parties so as to inform the development of the policy or its implementation*. A governing body uses the opinions and scientific advice gained to inform on a new law or policy that is being proposed. Consultations can be from a wide range of sources including governments, agencies and international bodies and cover a huge range of topics. The MBA focusses on those consultations related to our role as the being a voice on policies pertinent to the marine community.

How do they help scientists communicate to policy makers?

Consultations provide a sounding board for scientists to present valuable advice and opinions that are representative of a wide range of evidence. At the MBA we participate in both these public consultations and as statuary consultants, asked to advise and steer the government, representing our global community of experts and over 2,000 members.

How to engage in consultations

You can engage in consultations and have your voice heard through the MBA. We keep an active list of upcoming and current consultations relevant to the marine community and to our Special Interest Groups (add hyperlink here).  

If you would like to contribute your expertise or opinion to be incorporated in the MBA’s official consultation responses, please contact our Head of Policy, Dr Matt Frost at 

Current consultations:  

European Union 

Protecting the Marine Environment – Review of EU rules 

 Feedback Period: 22 July 2021 – 21 October 2021 

 This initiative will review the achievements and shortcomings of the Marine Strategy Feedback Directive, that required EU countries to develop strategies to have clean, healthy and productive seas by 2020, and propose possible amendments.    

United Kingdom

Marine Protected Areas: guidance for developing compensatory measures 

Feedback Period: 22 July 2021 – 30 September 2021 

Defra is seeking best practice guidance for developing compensatory measures in Marine Protected areas (MPAs) whilst mitigating impacts on the marine environment within the MPAs.  

Upcoming consultations: 

European Union 

Microplastics pollution – measures to reduce its impact on the environment 

Planned feedback period: (public consultation) Third Quarter 2021 

This aims to tackle unintendedly released microplastics through labelling, standardisation, certification and regulatory measures for the main sources of these plastics. This will improve the science on the risks and occurrence of microplastics and reduce environmental pollution and associated health risks.   

Nutrients – action plan for better management  

Planned feedback period: (Public consultation) Fourth quarter 2021 

Nutrient loss leads to air, soil and water pollution, loss of biodiversity and a wide range of climate-change impacts. Nutrient pollution and inefficiencies in the nutrient cycle require additional action at the EU level to improve food security, protect human health and preserve the ecosystem.  


Planned feedback period: (Public consultation) First quarter 2022 

This initiative will propose that geospatial environmental data and access to environmental data be shared across and between the public and private sectors and with the citizens, allowing full benefits of data-driven innovation and evidence-based decisions.   

Recent consultations 





‘Special Interest Groups – SIGs’

What are SIGs and what role do they serve?

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are voluntary groups which operate to benefit of a specialist field or geographic area. SIGs are governed by a committee of MBA Members but all SIGs are open for all Members to participate in as corresponding Members.

SIGS may engage in a range of activities including:

  • A first point of contact for the MBA for a specific topic and/or location
  • A mechanism for the MBA to obtain specific advice on an issue and/or input to consultations and other requests
  • A forum to develop ideas / proposals or highlight issues for consideration by the MBA
  • A platform for collaboration between the MBA and local/national/international institutes and associations.
  • Promote the MBA values and membership.
  • Attend meetings on request if available.

If you would like to present a proposal for a SIG, please contact Dr Matthew Frost at

Our current SIG list:

UK Marine protected Area SIG

Chair: Eoin Lyttle

Summary: Our SIG aims to support the MBA in general requests for information and advice regarding MPAs, representing them at meetings in this matters, and highlight issues around them where the MBA could increase their vocality.

Mediterranean SIG

Chair: Arianna Liconti

Summary: Our SIG aims to respond to general MBA requests for information and advice regarding the Mediterranean basin and highlight areas in which the MBA could comment on and provide support.