New Wave of Protection for the Sea Announced

Juveninle dolphin leaping, Moray Firth - John MacPherson/2020VISION

Devon Wildlife Trust welcomes the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). In Devon’s waters this means there will be nine new protected areas for marine wildlife.
grey seal

Grey seal portrait (Halichoerus grypus). Lundy Island, Bristol Channel. UK. - Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

Devon Wildlife Trust welcomes the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).  In Devon’s waters this means there will be nine new protected areas for marine wildlife, adding to the existing six Devon MCZs. This historic move will help protect the seas around our shores and follows on from previous announcements of 50 MCZs around the country (in 2013 and 2016). It is the third of three phases promised by the Government in order to fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

The 41 new MCZs are special places and include cold water corals, forests of sea fans, rocky canyons and sandbanks – an astonishingly varied range of submerged landscapes which support the stunning diversity of marine life found in the UK.  Sites off Devon’s coasts include Morte Platform MCZ which is home to mussel beds, corals and sponges, and East of Start Point MCZ, an important nursery area for the fish prey of Lyme Bay’s dolphins and Berry Head’s seabirds.  Five more Devon estuaries have also now been designated MCZs, on the rivers Axe, Otter, Dart, Avon and Erme.  All will contribute towards a network of areas which is urgently needed to ensure a healthy future for our seas. 

Harry Barton, Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust, says:

“This is a tremendous moment for our internationally famous coast and surrounding seas.  Here in the South West we have some of the most beautiful and charismatic marine life anywhere in Europe, including stunning reefs, kelp beds and sea grasses, as well as the many fish, whales, dolphins and sea birds that live alongside them.  Until now far too much of our marine environment has been unprotected.  Here is our chance to change all of that and start to put our seas into recovery.  The challenge now is to manage these sites properly, stop damaging activities like scallop dredging and monitor their condition so that we can be sure to leave future generations with something at least as good as we have today.”

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“It’s fantastic news that now we have 91 Marine Conservation Zones – they will form a vital series of underwater habitats which can be nursed back to health. The Wildlife Trusts have been calling for the government to give real protection to a network of diverse sea-bed landscapes since 2009 and over 22,000 people joined our call for better protection of our seas during last summer’s consultation.  Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this change! Now we need to see good management of these special places to stop damaging activities such as beam-trawling or dredging for scallops and langoustines which harm fragile marine wildlife.”

After the first 50 MCZs were designated, The Wildlife Trusts launched a Wave of Support campaign to coincide with the public consultation on the third phase.  Over 22,000 people – more than 10% of them from Devon - joined our call for better protection of our seas in just six weeks in the summer of 2018. The Wildlife Trusts believe that the new total of 91 MCZs* are a great step forward – but now the focus must be on caring for these special places effectively so that our ocean wildlife has the best possible chance of recovery.

List of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones with factsheets

 

MCZ name

Area

The Wildlife Trusts – factsheet links

Berwick to St Mary's

Northern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Berwick%20to%20St.%20Mary%27s.pdf

Holderness Offshore

Southern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Holderness%20Offshore.pdf

Kentish Knock East

Southern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Kentish%20Knock%20East_0.pdf

Markham's Triangle

Southern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Markham%27s%20Triangle.pdf

Orford Inshore

Southern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Orford%20Inshore.pdf

Swanscombe

Southern North Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Swanscombe.pdf

Albert Field

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Albert%20Field.pdf

Axe Estuary

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Axe%20Estuary.pdf

Beachy Head East

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Beachy%20Head%20East.pdf

Bembridge

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Bembridge.pdf

Dart Estuary

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Dart%20Estuary_0.pdf

East of Start Point

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/East%20of%20Start%20Point.pdf

Foreland

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Foreland.pdf

Goodwin Sands

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Goodwin%20Sands.pdf

Inner Bank

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Inner%20Bank_0.pdf

Otter Estuary

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Otter%20Estuary.pdf

Yarmouth to Cowes

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Yarmouth%20to%20Cowes.pdf

Purbeck Coast

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Purbeck%20Coast.pdf

Selsey Bill and the Hounds

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Selsey%20Bill%20and%20the%20Hounds.pdf

South of Portland

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%20Portland.pdf

Southborne Rough

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Southbourne%20Rough.pdf

Studland Bay

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Studland%20Bay_0.pdf

West of Wight-Barfleur

Eastern Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/West%20of%20Wight-Barfleur.pdf

Camel Estuary

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Camel%20Estuary.pdf

Cape Bank

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Cape%20Bank.pdf

Devon Avon Estuary

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Devon%20Avon%20Estuary.pdf

Erme Estuary

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Erme%20Estuary.pdf

Helford Estuary

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Helford%20Estuary.pdf

Morte Platform

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Morte%20Platform.pdf

North-West of Lundy

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/North-West%20of%20Lundy.pdf

North-East of Haig Fras

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/North-East%20of%20Haig%20Fras.pdf

South of Celtic Deep

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%20Celtic%20Deep.pdf

South of the Isles of Scilly

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%20the%20Isles%20of%20Scilly.pdf

South-West Approaches to Bristol Channel

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South-West%20approaches%20to%20Bristol%20Channel_1.pdf

South-West Deeps (East)

Western Channel

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South-West%20Deep%20%28East%29.pdf

Queenie Corner

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Queenie%20Corner.pdf

Ribble Estuary

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Ribble%20Estuary.pdf

Solway Firth

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Solway%20Firth.pdf

South Rigg

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20Rigg.pdf

West of Copeland

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/West%20of%20Copeland.pdf

Wyre-Lune

Irish Sea

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Lune%20and%20Wyre%20Estuary.pdf