New wave of protection for the sea announced!

Cheshire Wildlife Trust call for effective management of six new Marine Conservation Zones

Cheshire Wildlife Trust welcomes the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).  

In the Irish Sea area this means that it will have six new MCZs which include, Queenie Corner, South Rigg, Ribble Estuary, Solway Firth, West of Copeland and Wyre-Lune. This historic move will help protect the seas around our shores and follows on from previous announcements of 50 MCZs (in 2013 and 2016). It is the third of three phases promised by the Government in order to fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

The 41 new MCZs are special places and include cold water corals, forests of sea fans, rocky canyons and sandbanks – an astonishingly varied range of submerged landscapes which support the stunning diversity of marine life found in the UK.  The new MCZ in the Irish Sea, South Rigg, is extremely important due to the presence of the Irish Sea Mounds. The mounds contain the only known breeding population of ocean quahog clams in the Irish Sea. These little molluscs can live for over 500 years, making them the longest-lived animals in the world.  All will contribute towards a network of areas which is urgently needed to ensure a healthy future for our seas.  

Martin Varley, Director of Operations at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, says:
“We’re absolutely delighted that six new Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea have been designated. It means that the wonderful marine life of North West England shores will be better protected and can be allowed to recover.”

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“It’s fantastic news that now we have 91 Marine Conservation Zones – they will form a vital series of underwater habitats which can be nursed back to health. The Wildlife Trusts have been calling for the government to give real protection to a network of diverse sea-bed landscapes since 2009 and over 22,000 people joined our call for better protection of our seas during last summer’s consultation.  Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this change! Now we need to see good management of these special places to stop damaging activities such as beam-trawling or dredging for scallops and langoustines which harm fragile marine wildlife.”

After the first 50 MCZs were designated, The Wildlife Trusts launched a Wave of Support campaign to coincide with the public consultation on the third phase.  Over 22,000 people joined our call for better protection of our seas in just six weeks in the summer of 2018. The Wildlife Trusts believe that the new total of 91 MCZs* are a great step forward – but now the focus must be on caring for these special places effectively so that our ocean wildlife has the best possible chance of recovery.

List of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones with factsheets

MCZ name    Area    The Wildlife Trusts – factsheet links
Berwick to St Mary's    Northern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Berwick%20to…

Holderness Offshore    Southern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Holderness%2…

Kentish Knock East    Southern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Kentish%20Kn…

Markham's Triangle    Southern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Markham%27s%…

Orford Inshore    Southern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Orford%20Ins…

Swanscombe    Southern North Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Swanscombe.p…

Albert Field    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Albert%20Fie…

Axe Estuary    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Axe%20Estuar…

Beachy Head East    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Beachy%20Hea…

Bembridge    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Bembridge.pdf

Dart Estuary    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Dart%20Estua…

East of Start Point    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/East%20of%20…

Foreland    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Foreland.pdf

Goodwin Sands    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Goodwin%20Sa…

Inner Bank    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Inner%20Bank…

Otter Estuary    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Otter%20Estu…

Yarmouth to Cowes    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Yarmouth%20t…

Purbeck Coast    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Purbeck%20Co…

Selsey Bill and the Hounds    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Selsey%20Bil…

South of Portland    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%2…

Southborne Rough    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Southbourne%…

Studland Bay    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Studland%20B…

West of Wight-Barfleur    Eastern Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/West%20of%20…

Camel Estuary    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Camel%20Estu…

Cape Bank    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Cape%20Bank…

Devon Avon Estuary    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Devon%20Avon…

Erme Estuary    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Erme%20Estua…

Helford Estuary    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Helford%20Es…

Morte Platform    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Morte%20Plat…

North-West of Lundy    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/North-West%2…

North-East of Haig Fras    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/North-East%2…

South of Celtic Deep    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%2…

South of the Isles of Scilly    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20of%2…

South-West Approaches to Bristol Channel    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South-West%2…

South-West Deeps (East)    Western Channel    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South-West%2…

Queenie Corner    Irish Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Queenie%20Co…

Ribble Estuary    Irish Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Ribble%20Est…

Solway Firth    Irish Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Solway%20Fir…

South Rigg    Irish Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/South%20Rigg…

West of Copeland    Irish Sea    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/West%20of%20…

Wyre-Lune    Irish Sea  https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/Lune%20and%2…