The Fleet Recommended MCZ

Status: On hold

Fifteen-spined stickleback (Credit Steve Trewhella)Fifteen-spined stickleback (Credit Steve Trewhella)

The Fleet lagoon is the largest example of a lagoonal habitat in England.

The spiral tasselweed and foxtail stonewort, both rare species, are found here.

The Fleet lagoon is the largest example of a lagoonal habitat in England. Seawater percolates in through the shingle of Chesil Beach and also enters through the narrow channel that links it to Portland Harbour. The lagoon is fully saline apart from at the western end where there is reduced salinity.

The unusual lagoonal conditions result in a very specialised wildlife community including extensive seagrass (Zostera) and tasselweed (Ruppia) populations. The spiral tasselweed and foxtail stonewort, both rare species, are found here, along with a diverse fauna that includes the spiny seahorse, common eel, broad-nosed pipefish and three-spined stickleback. In addition the lagoon supports a number of nationally rare and scarce species that includes the starlet anemone.

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StatusThis recommended Marine Conservation Zone is ON HOLD at the moment as it was recommended as a Reference Area.


We recommend that this site is designated as an MCZ to protect the seagrass beds which are not protected as a feature of the SAC.

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This site has been proposed as a Reference Area (highly protected MCZ) by Defra. Defra are now reviewing the designation of such site and The Wildlife Trusts will input into this review. However, it is our view that this site could still make an important contribution to an ecologically coherent network. The site sits within the boundary of Chesil and the Fleet Special Area of Conservation. However, this protection does not extend to the seagrass beds found within the site.

Therefore we recommend that this site is designated as an MCZ to protect the seagrass beds which are not protected as a feature of the SAC.
 


Other nearby MCZs

Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges  South of Portland 

Location map

The Fleet 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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