Plumose anemones (Credit Mark Thomas)
Rocky reefs are home to a wealth of wildlife found hidden in cracks and crevices and encrusting all available surfaces.
Kelp and tall plumose anemones reach up into the water, waving as currents pass.
Runswick Bay, located north-west of Whitby, boasts a highly productive seabed. The MCZ is recommended for 7 out of the 12 different seafloor habitats found here, including rock, sediment and gravel.
Shallow rocky areas here are dominated by kelps and red seaweeds whereas deeper areas are encrusted in a living faunal turf of sponges, sea squirts, sea urchins and starfish. Interspersed with sand and gravel, this area is also important for burrowing creatures such as worms.
Runswick Bay also provides spawning and nursery grounds for many fish, including herring, sprat, cod, whiting and plaice. Harbour porpoises are regularly recorded here alongside foraging seabirds, such as kittiwakes.
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 provide protection for the second largest area of high energy infralittoral rock in the region.
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.
Runswick Bay 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
Other nearby potential MCZs