Skerries Bank and Surrounds Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected

Green

Squat lobster (Credit Dominic Flint)Squat lobster (Credit Dominic Flint)

The short-snouted seahorse has been recorded here.

Reefs here are home to delicate species like the yellow staghorn sponge, ross coral, pink sea fan, and sunset cup coral.

Skerries Bank and surrounds has been designated a Marine Conservation Zone for the wide range of habitats found in the area as well as to protect the pink sea fan and spiny lobster.

The diversity of species found here is high. The Skerries Bank runs along the coast from Leek Cove to Torcross, and overlaps with the Start Point Inshore Potting Agreement (IPA). The IPA is a licensed area that is permanently or seasonally closed to mobile fishing gear (trawling), so that static gear, in particular pots, can be used instead.

Exposed rocky shores are dominated by barnacles and seaweeds interspersed with spiny lobsters, sponges and sea squirts. Slightly farther out, a dense kelp forest is important for red algae species. Within Start Bay, offshore muddy-sand and mud is characterised by molluscs, burrowing crustaceans, sea cucumbers and the burrowing worm Maxmuelleria lankesteri. The reef areas include delicate species like the yellow staghorn sponge, ross coral, pink sea fan, and sunset cup coral.

Overall it is an important breeding area for flat fish and other mobile species. The short-snouted seahorse has also been recorded at this site.


Other nearby sites potential MCZs

Torbay


Location map

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right andcontains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012