Access & use

The Ascension Island MPA consists of an inshore zone out to 12 nautical miles from the island and an offshore zone from 12 nautical miles out to the MPA boundary 200 nautical miles from the island. Certain activities are prohibited within the zones and others require a permit.

Map showing Ascension Island, our Inshore Zone and Offshore Zone
Permitted and prohibited activities in the Inshore Zone
Permitted and prohibited activities in the Offshore Zone

Key:PermittedRequires a permitProhibited

If you are planning a trip to Ascension, the information below may be helpful.

Visiting Researchers

Ascension is a great place to do research and we welcome scientists who want to further our knowledge of the island and contribute to global understanding of our oceans. If you are interested in conducting research on Ascension Island or in the Ascension MPA you will need a research permit and a research entry visa.

If you would like to discuss your research proposal, please contact us. We can only provide support to research identified as a priority on our MPA Monitoring Evaluation and Research Strategy, but we will do our best to provide advice and guidance.

Visiting Vessels

Ascension Island warmly welcomes members of the sailing community. But there are a few things to be aware of including the local harbour rules, biosecurity regulations and the need for a visa and medical insurance. See the links below to help plan your visit to Ascension.


Ascension Island is a unique and special place and with everyone’s help it can be safeguarded. Biosecurity regulations are in place to reduce the risk of new species arriving in Ascension that could damage public health, the environment and the economy. Everyone arriving on Ascension will need to complete a biosecurity declaration and some imports require a licence or to meet import health standards to be allowed in. Vessels visiting Ascension will also need to show that they have carried out a recent anti-fouling treatment and are managing their waste and ballast water properly.

More information on Ascension’s biosecurity requirements can be found here.