Offshore Overfalls recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Potential Tranche 2

Compass jellyfish (Credit Paul Naylor)Compass jellyfish (Credit Paul Naylor)

This site hosts the geomorphological remains of an ancient river valley that once flowed through the Channel before it flooded to separate England from the mainland continent.

An area is thought to be one of the most species rich areas in the South East.

 

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This area is diverse and species-rich with a variety of habitats including sandstone reefs. It also encompasses the Overfalls, an unusual area of mixed sediment, sands and gravels that form sandwaves which are particularly important for bony fish and elasmobrachs such as undulate rays and tope.

Commercially and ecologically important species have been recorded here: bass, cod, sandeels, and Molgula sea squirts to name a few. Ross worm beds and the invasive American slipper limpet are present at several locations, while blue mussel beds are also thought to occur here.

This site hosts the geomorphological remains of an ancient river valley that once flowed through the Channel before it flooded to separate England from the mainland continent.

StatusThis 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. This site is the only site recommended in the region for the undulate ray and would offer protection to an important geological feature- the English Channel Outburst if designated. The north east corner of the site contains an area called the Overfalls which is considered to be of high scientific value due to the habitat is provides for a range of fish species such as bass, turbot, cod, brown crab and sandeels.

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

Other nearby sites:

Utopia  

Location map

Offshore Overfalls 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

 

Downloads

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offshore_overfalls.pdf1.86 MB