Torbay Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected


Devonshire cup coral (Credit Devon Wildlife Trust)Devonshire cup coral (Credit Devon Wildlife Trust)

The 'jewel in south Devon’s crown’ for marine wildlife like this Devonshire cup coral.

Stretching from Hope’s Nose to Berry Head, Torbay is home to a rich array of marine plants and animals, which needs protection.

This site has been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone in 2013 to  protect a wide range of habitats found in the area including rock and sediment habitats and the seagrass beds and for long snouted seahorse and native oyster.

Stretching from Hope’s Nose to Berry Head, Devon Wildlife Trust describes Torbay as ‘the jewel in south Devon’s crown’ for marine wildlife. Torbay is a large natural harbour bordered by the busy holiday towns of Torquay, Paignton and the fishing port of Brixham. Torbay is home to a rich array of marine flora and fauna, which needs protection.

Much of the bay consists of sand with limestone outcrops. In sandy areas close to shore lie large areas of vulnerable seagrass ‘meadows’, which offer a vital nursery ground and feeding place for many marine animals including the long-snouted seahorse.

Torbay’s seabed holds good communities of heart urchins and brittlestars, while its rocky areas support anemones, native oysters, sponges, sea squirts and the uncommon peacock’s tail seaweed. At its edges, sea caves offer shelter to rare corals including the carpet coral and the Devonshire cup coral. Torbay also has extensive reefs built from sand particles by the honeycomb worm. The area is important for breeding bird colonies.

Other nearby sites:

Skerries Bank and surrounds

Location map

Torbay 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

Introducing Torbay rMCZ

Dominic from Devon Wildlife Trust introduces the Torbay rMCZ