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.
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 recommended Marine Conservation Zone is ON HOLD at the moment as Defra has indicated that there is not enough evidence to support designation.
We need you to urge Defra to use this data gathered as soon as possible to consider designation of this site in a future tranche:
This site is on hold at the moment. Defra has indicated that although there is enough evidence to support designation of the site for five of the habitats and species recommended for protection by stakeholders, additional evidence is needed for an additional two features recommended. 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. Defra commissioned additional survey work of this site in 2012 which has not been used as part of this consultation.
We need you to urge Defra consider designation of this site as soon as possible for those features deemed to have sufficient evidence whilst continuing to gather evidence for those additional features for consideration in a future tranche.
Other nearby MCZs
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
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