Compass Rose recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Status: Potential T3 site

Common lobster (Credit Dereck Haslam)Common lobster (Credit Dereck Haslam)

The sandy seafloor here is home to many species of crustacean

This area is a spawning and nursery ground for many species of fish.

Become a Friend of this MCZ

Compass Rose is located 30km off the Yorkshire coast and is approximately 50 metres deep throughout the area. The seafloor consists of sand and coarse sediment and is home to several species of crustacean.

Compass Rose provides spawning and nursery grounds for fish including plaice, herring, lemon sole, sandeel and sprat. During the summer months the area captures the most northerly section of the Flamborough Front, an upwelling of nutrients where the cooler northern and warmer southern waters of the North Sea mix, providing an important food source for marine mammals.

Compass Rose was originally proposed as a MCZ for containing moderate energy circalittoral rock and for supporting populations of smelt and ocean quahog – a type of clam that lives for over 100 years! However, after further survey work was carried out by Natural England, it was decided that moderate energy circalittoral rock was not present within the site and that there was only poor data certainty for ocean quahog and smelt. Nonetheless, Defra will re-consider Compass Rose for inclusion in the third tranche of MCZs for subtidal sand, which would fill a big gap in the current network of English Marine Conservation Zones.

We need your help to ensure that this site is included in tranche 3. Become a Friend of MCZs today.

 Location map

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012

Other nearby sites:

Runswick Bay


FilenameFile size
Compass Rose Factsheet.pdf3.35 MB