Fan worms (Credit Mike Markey)
The area is known to have a high diversity and unusual mixture of seabed life like these wonderful fan worms.
Deep depressions in the soft rock layers underlying Portland, create a unique feature of geological importance, known as the Portland Deep.
South of Portland recommended MCZ lies close to Portland Bill in an area of very strong tidal currents. These currents, called the Portland Race, have eroded deep depressions in the soft rock layers underlying Portland, creating a unique feature of geological importance, known as the Portland Deep.
Elsewhere, sand and coarse sediments have been sculpted into banks and ripples on the seafloor. The area is known to have a high diversity and unusual mixture of seabed life.
The site also includes an area of blue mussel bed known to provide a stable habitat for many other species to utilise for food and shelter.
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:
Defra has indicated that although there is enough evidence to support designation of the site for the Portland Deep (an important geological feature); further evidence is required for five habitats recommended for protection by stakeholders. The seabed of this site is characterised by canyons and strong tidal streams, which create a very specific sea-floor habitat not found elsewhere in the south west. Because of this, this site has been recognised as an area of higher than average benthic species diversity, and important for seabirds and cetaceans. Failure to protect this site will mean that Portland Deep remains unprotected.
We need you to urge Defra to consider designation of this site for those features deemed to have sufficient evidence as soon as possible. Defra should commit to gathering more information on those additional features requiring more evidence and consider their designation in a future tranche.
Other nearby MCZs
South of Portland 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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