Goodwin Sands

Site overview: Goodwin Sands is a recommended Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), which is a type of Marine Protected Area. This is an inshore site measuring 277 km2. It is an important foraging ground for seabirds, and a nursery ground for fish species such as cod, sandeels and plaice. It is also one of the two areas that seals use to haul-out in the South East. Grey and common seals also forage around the sandbanks and common seals can even give birth to their pups here. Beds of blue mussels are mixed in with the sandy tubes of thousands of tiny ross worms. Together these form a habitat structure which provides shelter and food for other animals such as crabs, anemones, snails and fish. Thornback rays lay their mermaid- purse egg cases around the Goodwin Sands.
At risk: This site is at risk, it currently is not designated as a Marine Protected Area - but should be. Decision makers in England will determine in 2017 whether this site should be protected, make sure your voice is heard. Take action to ensure this site becomes a properly protected area.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


51° 15' 27" North,
1° 35' 16" East

Surface Area

276.91 km2
(106.92 mi.2 )


68.24 km
(42.40 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site