Common brittlestar bed (Credit Paul Naylor)
Mud is particularly important habitat for a variety of marine species, including polychaete worms and brittlestars that in turn support the marine food web.
The mud found here supports a wealth of marine life.
North-West of Jones Bank is located 165km west of Land's End and supports important habitats, such as subtidal mud, which is indicative of these stable offshore areas where fine particles are able to settle.
This area is known to be an important foraging ground for seabirds during winter. Diving birds in particular will migrate to the sea during winter, including internationally important Great northern divers that move offshore from August until the early spring when they move back to their largely Icelandic breeding grounds.
This recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs.
Defra have indicated that this site is now under consideration for tranche two and will potentially be included in the formal consultation at the beginning of 2015. Defra will now working to verify the evidence base for this site and will be looking to engage with stakeholders on both a local and national level to refine information about the site.
If designated, this site would protect the largest area of subtidal mud in any marine protected area. The habitats found within this site provide important nursery and spawning habitats for fish and potentially important habitat for seabirds. This site was also identified by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee as being at high risk of damage and degradation due to pressures on the vulnerable habitats found within the site.
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Other nearby sites:
North-West of Jones Bank recommended MCZ is located in the map below.
Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and
contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012