Marine Home page     |     Sea areas included in High Seas issued by the Met Office    |    Sea areas in Shipping Forecast issued by the Met Office

Sea areas in use by the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco

The following revision to sea areas in use by the United Kingdom was implemented on the 4th February 2002

With effect 1200 UTC on Monday 4th February 2002 the following changes were made to the sea areas used in forecasts and warnings issued by the Met Office via the GMDSS SafetyNET™ and NAVTEX services, HM Coastguard services, the Irish Coastguard, the BBC and in other forecasts using the coastal sea areas as defined by the United Kingdom:

   a.    The southern boundary of sea areas PLYMOUTH and SOLE and the northern boundary of
          sea areas BISCAY and FINISTERRE has been re-aligned to the Metarea I/II boundary of

   b.    Former sea area FINISTERRE has been renamed FITZROY.

   c.    All other sea areas used by the United Kingdom including TRAFALGAR remain unchanged.

Metarea II - co-ordinated areas used in marine forecasts issued by France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Also with effect from 4th February 2002 there has been a major revision of sea areas within Metarea II. This revision is the result of extensive negotiations involving France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco and is the realisation of a co-ordinated set of areas to be used by all four countries when providing forecasts within Metarea II. Météo-France have kindly made available the charts that have been published in their Journal of Marine Meteorology, Met Mar, and these charts can be accessed below:

It is noted that France now uses the sea areas within Metarea I as defined by the United Kingdom. The names of the areas in the English Channel will be referred to in the French bulletins with their French names, for example, sea area Dover will be known as Pas-de-Calais, but other areas will carry the English name of the area.

Back to Marine Home page

These notes put together by Martin Stubbs and are based on work carried out in the Met Office in connection with the revision to the sea areas. They do not constitute an official document and are provided for information only. Please contact either the Met Office in Exeter or Météo-France if you have any official queries in connecton with the revision. This page updated on 29th August 2003