Compass Rose recommended Marine Conservation Zone

MCZ lost from Tranche 2

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

An area of this MCZ is called Heartbreak Ridge due to the unpredictable delightful or disappointing catches caught on this rocky ridge.

Heartbreak Ridge, a hard rocky ridge found amongst sand and gravel, provides an ideal hiding place for common lobsters.

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

Located within the site are approximately 6.5km2 of hard rocky ground known as ‘Heartbreak Ridge’. 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! Impact assessments reveal that designating the area as an MCZ would have little or no economic cost to fishermen, oil, gas and wind farm operators. 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.

StatusThis Marine Conservation Zone has not been included in the second tranche under consultation


We need you to help ensure that this site is included in tranche 3. Become a Friend of this site to stay up-to-date with The Wildlife Trusts' campaign to see how you can help.

 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

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