Fulmar (Credit George Stoyle)
Important mud, sand and mixed sediment help support diverse sessile and mobile species.
Fulmar is located 224km offshore from the Northumberland coast and is the most northerly MCZ within the North Sea.
Although 224 km off the Northumberland coast, with an area of 2,437 km2 this potential MCZ is one not to be forgotten about.
Fulmar is one of the deepest recommended MCZs in the North Sea, reaching between 50 – 100 metres deep. The seafloor is comprised of mud, sand and coarse mixed sediment providing habitat for a number of bivalves such as clams, cockles, ocean quahog and native oysters, as well as various species of worms and sea urchin. Mud is an important habitat and provides an ideal substrate for sea pens and burrowing anemones.
The MCZ designation would protect the seafloor habitats but these in turn help to support mobile species such as seabirds and cetaceans. As the name suggest, this site is an important area for seabirds, black-headed gull, northern fulmar, Arctic skua and black-legged kittiwake use this area, whilst breeding common guillemot and Arctic skua use this site during winter.
Another notable species which have been identified at the site are a benthic deep sea shrimp and the undulate ray, its patterning makes the perfect camouflage against the surface of the mixed sediment seafloor.
The mixed sediment substrate fills a gap in the protected network within the North Sea.
This recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs
If designated, this site would contribute the largest area of subtidal sand out of all MCZs. There are also records of basking sharks and cetaceans within the site and of foraging seabirds, including common guillemot and black-legged kittiwake.
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Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012
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