Wyre-Lune MCZ

Status: Proposed


Site overview

The name of the River Lune derives from a Celtic word for ‘health giving’, and that quality certainly applies today. The rivers Wyre and Lune provide rich estuary habitats, important for many species of fish and birds, which are protected by the Morecambe Bay Special Area of Conservation. Smelt, a species of estuarine fish, and the European eel are found here. Smelt populations have suffered drastic population declines in the UK, and the European eel is now listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Both species need urgent conservation. If designated in 2019, this marine conservation zone will provide much need extra protection for smelt, eels and the seabed habitats at this unique site.

MPA Type

Marine Conservation Zone

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are designated under UK legislation (Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009) and have been established around England, Wales and Northern Ireland to contribute to the UK MPA network protect a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology, and can be designated anywhere in English and Welsh territorial and UK offshore waters.

Surface Area

92.64 km2 (35.77 mi.2)


329.09 km (204.49 mi.)

  • Smelt (Osmerus eperlanus)

    Smelt are fish related to the salmon.  They shoal in the salty water of estuaries and around the mouths of rivers.  Early each year they come upriver to breed in fresh water before returning to the sea. Many populations are now extinct.

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas