What should a marine protected area look like?

Common Cuttlefish ©Alex Mustard/2020VISION

In 2017, protection and preservation of the marine environment has never been so important.

Marine life can still flourish if given the chance

This film, in support of the new strategy, illustrates the incredible marine life that exists in a properly managed marine protected area; it shows that marine life can still flourish if given the chance, that it is not too late to save our seas.

Filmed on Raglans Reef, the Gwinges and Shark Fin Reef, located in the Manacles Marine Conservation Zone, it showcases an incredible network of reefs and pinnacles that host a marvel of diverse and abundant life. We see tiny amphipods living nestled amongst jewel anemones (pictured below), and the wonderfully strange white and yellow nudibranch - Polycera faeroensis - feeding exclusively on bryozoans. This life-filled place, where common dolphins usher boats to early morning dive sites, may well answer the question we pose at the start of the film, “What should a marine protected area look like?”

Lying off the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, The Manacles (Cornish: Meyn Eglos, meaning church stones) was designated in 2013 and covers an area of approximately 3.5km. It's home to the pink sea-fan, Eunicella verrucose, a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and globally vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The final sequence of the film shows three species that live exclusively on these sea fans: the pink sea fan nudibranch - Tritonia nilsodhneri; the pink sea fan false cowry - Simnia hiscocki; and the pink sea fan anemone - Amphianthus dohrnii. This microcosm illustrates the intricate relationships that exist within the natural world, the diversity and connectivity of marine ecosystems, and the fragility of life itself. 

Thomas Daguerre

"What should a marine protected area look like?" by Thomas Daguerre and Andrew Ball produced by Hydro Motion Media CIC