Defra announce 27 MCZ’s

defra27 new Marine Conservation Zones have been designated by Defra around the coast of England, covering in total an area approximately three times the size of Wiltshire, but have highlighted the need for far more zones if the long term decline in sea life is to be reversed.

Defra have stated that the Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are targeted to protect marine habitats around the coast whilst restricting any damaging activities to ensure that the features of the MCZ are protected.

A lengthy and expensive four year stakeholder consultation process saw an initial 127 sites proposed, ultimately 27 of the 31 sites put forward by the Government earlier this year were finally selected. Agreement on how the new MCZs will actually be managed now needs to be reached by the relevant Inshore Fishery and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) and other regulators. 

As with the current Scottish MPA proposals, restrictions may differ from site to site depending on what features the site intends to protect and activities will only be regulated if they cause damage to the habitats that are being conserved in the relevant MCZ. 

The 27 designated sites are:

1. The Canyons
2. South-West Deeps (West)
3. East of Haig Fras
4. Poole Rocks
5. South Dorset
6. Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges
7. Torbay
8. Skerries Bank and surrounds
9. Tamar Estuary Sites
10. Whitsand and Looe Bay
11. Upper Fowey and Pont Pill
12. The Manacles
13. Isle of Scilly Sites
14. Padstow Bay and surrounds
15. Lundy
16. Fylde Offshore
17. Cumbria Coast
18. Aln Estuary
19. Swallow Sand
20. Rock Unique
21. Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries
22. Medway Estuary
23. Thanet Coast
24. Folkestone Pomerania
25. Beachy Head West
26. Kingmere
27. Pagham Harbour

In addition, two new tranches of MCZs have been announced by the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, the first of which is due to be consulted on in 2015.

Category: UK Government News

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