Thornback ray (Credit Amy Lewis)
Such diverse gravel communities provide rich hunting grounds, supporting a range of other species, such as rays.
Marine species can colonise here undisturbed by wave action.
Situated south of Brighton and extending out to the median line with France, this large area is situated in deeper offshore waters within the English Channel.
These deeper waters are less affected by natural disturbance than those which are inshore, allowing a wide range of species to colonise the gravel undisturbed. The area is also important for rarer deep-water rocky habitats.
Ross worm ‘reefs’, known as biogenic reefs, are present here. Formed out of consolidated tubes of ross worms, these structures add additional complexity to the seafloor and encourage other marine species to live there.
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. The site is important for protection of the rock habitats found within its boundary as they have limited distribution in the region.
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Other nearby sites:
Offshore Brighton 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