Pagham Harbour Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected


Hermit crab, in eelgrass (Credit Paul Naylor)Hermit crab, in eelgrass (Credit Paul Naylor)

The harbour and small seagrass meadow provide nursery grounds for juvenile fish and crustaceans, and the area is important for foraging and breeding wildfowl.

Grey and common seals are often seen in the Harbour.



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This site has been designated to protect the seagrass beds found in the area as well as for the lagoon sand shrimp and Defolin's lagoon snail found here.

This small area is one of just three places in the UK, where the exceptionally rare Defolin’s lagoon snail occurs. This snail’s rarity makes it very vulnerable. Any changes to the lagoons in which it lives could result in its complete disappearance. This minute (up to just 2mm long!) snail lives in the spaces between small pebbles in the site's shingle spit at the harbour mouth.

Pagham Harbour is renowned for its rich marine life. Species include the lagoon sand shrimp, found in Ferry Pool on the west side of the harbour, the beautiful starlet sea anemone, native oysters, adult eels and elvers. Elvers are juvenile eels that swim up rivers to mature after which they return to the sea.

Home to the native oyster, adult eels and elvers. Elvers are juvenile eels which swim up rivers to mature after which they return to the sea.

Other nearby MCZs

Selsey Bill and the Hounds


Location map

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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