South of Portland Recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Status: Potential T3 site

 Fan worms (Credit Mike Markey) 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.

The seabed of this site, characterised by canyons and strong tidal streams, creates 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 is important for seabirds and cetaceans. Failure to protect this site will mean that Portland Deep remains unprotected.

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Other nearby sites

Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges  South Dorset

Location map

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

 

 

 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
South of Portland Factsheet.pdf1.31 MB