Greater pipefish (Credit Julie Hatcher)
A beautiful greater pipefish at home within the sea grass.
The bay is home to breeding populations of both British seahorses.
Extensive and dense seagrass meadows in the sheltered south of the bay are home to breeding populations of both British seahorses as well as pipefishes, wrasses and juveniles of commercial species such as bass, bream and flatfish. The endangered undulate ray also appears to be using this area as a nursery ground.
In the wider bay, shallow-water, sandy plains support a range of shellfish, including the native oyster, the Chinese-hat shell, hermit crabs and the masked crab. Within the sand live many species of burrowing bivalves and worms such as lugworms and the sandmason worm.
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 commit to gathering additional data as soon as possible and to consider this site as a high and urgent priority in the next tranche:
This site is on hold. Although Defra found that there was enough evidence for three of the features, including the seagrass beds and the short-snouted seahorse, they have indicated the need for further evidence for five features and therefore have placed this site on hold whist gathering additional evidence.
Studland Bay is an important site as it represents the only known breeding site for long-snouted seahorse in the UK, the only site proposed to protect undulate ray in the region and is important for the seagrass beds that are found within the site. It has also been identified as being at risk by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, with the seagrass beds and the short snouted seahorse identified as being most at risk.
We need you to urge Defra consider urgent designation of this site for those features deemed to have sufficient evidence. This is particularly important as this site has been identified as being at risk. Defra should use the additional data gathered as soon as possible and to consider designation of those additional features requiring more evidence in a future tranche. The site should be protected from additional damage and degradation in the meantime.
Other nearby MCZs
Studland 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
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