Marine Conservation Zones
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a new type of Marine Protected Area designation, arising from the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
Last November, the Government announced the designation of 27 sites making up the first tranche of Marine Conservation Zones in English seas. This announcement followed a consultation and two years of stakeholder negotiations which led to recommendations for 127 protected sites at sea - of which 27 were designated last year. These areas had been recommended through a process which included representatives from all marine sectors - from fishermen and the aggregates industry to divers and allowed everyone to have an input into the process.
Although welcome, these 27 sites alone are not enough to create the ecologically coherent network that our seas so badly need in order to provide them with the protection they need to recover from past damage and declines. Defra announced an aim to designate an additional two tranches of MCZs in order to complete this network.
In February 2014, Defra announced their list of candidate sites for the second tranche. These 37 sites are those that they are considering consultating on for designation in 2015 and are:
|1) Coquet to St Mary’s||2) Farnes East|
|3) Fulmar||4) Runswick Bay|
|5) Compass Rose||6) Holderness Inshore|
|7) Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds||8) The Swale Estuary|
|9) Dover to Deal||10) Dover to Folkestone|
|11) Offshore Brighton||12) Offshore Overfalls|
|13) Utopia||14) Bembridge|
|15) Norris to Ryde||16) Yarmouth to Cowes|
|17) The Needles||18) Studland Bay|
|19) Western Channel||20) Mounts Bay|
|21) Lands End||22) North-West of Jones Bank|
|23) Greater Haig Fras||24) Newquay and The Gannel|
|25) Hartland Point to Tintagel||26) Bideford to Foreland Point|
|27) North of Lundy||28) South of Celtic Deep|
|29) Celtic Deep||30) East of Celtic Deep|
|31) Mid St George’s Channel||32) North St George’s Channel|
|33) Slieve Na Griddle||34) South Rigg|
|35) West of Walney||36) Mud Hole|
|37) Allonby Bay|
Defra now plan to gather more information about these sites before consulting on a final list at the beginning of 2015. We need your support to ensure that as many of these sites are consulted on and ultimately designated next year.
Now is the most important time for UK marine conservation. We have never before, and may never again have such an opportunity to safeguard the remnants of our, once rich, marine habitats and wildlife. Stay in touch with the campaign and find out how you can help in the future by becoming a Friend of the MCZs?
Our marine environment desperately needs help - we need a proper network of protected areas to ensure that the extraordinary diversity of species and habitats in our seas get real protection for the first time. There is huge public support for this protection. Our Petition Fish campaign, calling for greater marine protection across the UK, gathered nearly 250,000 signatures. It was presented to the Government at the end of January 2013.
Find out more about the wonderful underwater landscapes that a million stakeholders recommended for protection and why we think all 127 of these places are important by taking a look at our MCZ map and signing up to a zone near you!
Experience from across the world has shown that Marine Protected Areas provide economic and social benefits that far outweigh the costs of designation and management.
We are concerned that Defra’s own impact assessment for the Marine Conservation Zones failed to provide any monetary benefits for the designation of individual sites or for the network as a whole. An analysis of the initial Impact Assessment was carried out by Hull University and can be viewed below
To showcase the potential benefits from the proposed network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in English and offshore Welsh waters, The Wildlife Trusts commissioned a report from The Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research at Plymouth University.
The report analysed the provision of ecosystem services and processes across the entire recommended MCZ network of 127 sites and carried out more detailed analysis of four recommended MCZs (North of Celtic Deep, Holderness Inshore, Kingmere and Torbay). You can see the full report below and if you head to each of the four rMCZ webpages (for the sites listed above), you can see the more detailed case studies there.
|Securing the benefits of MCZs.pdf||2.39 MB|
|Summary of MCZ Impact Assessment Material Review- Hull University.pdf||173.94 KB|