"Dogger Bank is home to a fantastic array of sea life and habitats and thoroughly deserves special protection. This marks a major step towards achieving our commitment to create an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas," said environment minister Richard Benyon.
Government advisory body the Joint Nature Conservation Committee has begun public consultation on three more proposed SACs - the Wight Barfleur Reef in the English Channel and the Pisces Reef Complex and Croker Carbonate Slabs in the Irish Sea.
Meanwhile, Natural England has launched a consultation on a marine SAC along the Dorset coast from Studland to Portland. The proposed protected area covers 330 square kilometres and contains a range of range of rare reef features.