Thames Estuary Recommended MCZ

Status: On hold

The Thames at Erith (Credit Kent Wildlife Trust)The Thames at Erith (Credit Kent Wildlife Trust)

The Thames now plays host to many species of fish which use the estuary as breeding and nursery grounds.

The estuary is also home to the beguiling short-snouted seahorse!

Eel and smelt are among the many fish that now breed in the River Thames. Despite the heavy activity on its banks and bed, the Thames estuary, from Richmond to the wider mouth at Southend and Grain, provides critical spawning and nursery grounds for fish.

Dover sole, salmon, flounder, cod, herring, sprat, twait shad and both river and sea lampreys are all important inhabitants of the estuary.

The estuary is also home to the short-snouted seahorse which has been recorded on several occasions. Other rarities include the delicate tentacled lagoon worm which can be found at Greenhithe.

The bed of the estuary is known to support ross worms which construct jumbles of sandy tubes, forming a habitat structure used by other species.

Become a Friend of this MCZ

StatusThis recommended Marine Conservation Zone is ON HOLD at the moment as Defra has indicated a need to better understand the implications of designation of the site on potential developments within the estuary.


We need you to urge Defra to gather additional information needed as soon as possible and to consider designation of this site as a high and urgent priority in the next tranche:

 

Have your say

Although Defra has indicated that there is enough evidence to support designation of the site for all but one of the species and habitats recommended by stakeholders, Defra feel that further work is required to better understand the implications of designation of the site on potential developments within the estuary. The tentacled lagoon worm, found within the site has been identified as being at risk of damage by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

We need you to urge Defra to gather additional information needed as soon as possible and to consider designation of this site as a high and urgent priority in the next tranche. The site should be protected from damage and degradation in the meantime.


Other nearby MCZs

Medway Estuary  The Swale Estuary

Location map

The Thames Estuary 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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