Goodwin Sands MCZ

Status: Proposed


Site overview

Goodwin Sands, notorious for centuries of shipwrecks, is a key foraging ground for seabirds, and an important nursery ground for fish species such as cod, sandeels and plaice. It is also one of the only two seal haul-out (resting and pupping) site in the South East for common and grey seals. Beds of blue mussels are mixed in with the sandy tubes of thousands of tiny ross worms. Together these form complex habitats providing shelter and food for many animals such as crabs, anemones, molluscs and various fish species, and a breeding site for thornback rays.

MCS has consistently called for better fisheries management at this site, and designation of this marine conservation zone in 2019 would provide much needed protection for this rich and diverse seabed habitat.

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

276.91 km2 (106.92 mi.2)


68.24 km (42.40 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

51° 15' 27" North, 1° 35' 16" East

Did you know?…

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

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘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

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