Falmouth Harbour contains, and is near to, a number of environmentally protected areas.

Falmouth Harbour contains and is near to a number of environmentally protected areas that are part of an ecological network of areas, set up to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats.

Environmental Designations


Much of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners Harbour Area is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in accordance with the Habitats Regulations. This is a legal designation aimed to protect the environment.

See more information on the SAC and information on research carried out in the area of the SAC.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners is a member of the SAC Management Forum, a group of Relevant Authorities meeting regularly to discuss issues affecting the management of the SAC. Falmouth Harbour Commissioners is committed to working in partnership through the SAC Management Forum to achieve the conservation objectives contained in the SAC Management Plan.


There is a Special Protection Area (SPA) in the marine area from St Austell to Falmouth Bay, this is to protect 3 species of overwintering birds from October to March. The species under protection are the Black-throated diver, Great northern diver and Slavonian grebe.

Further information on the SPA can be found here.

Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ)

To the South of our Harbour Limits, is the Manacles Marine Conservation Zone.

A recommended Marine Conservation Zone in the Helford to protect the native oyster is currently being reviewed by Defra. A decision is expected in summer 2019. Further information is available here.