Orford Inshore MCZ

Status: Proposed


Site overview

This offshore site  includes a seabed of mixed sands and gravels, and provides key spawning habitats for several commercially important fish species such as lemon sole and sprat. Sand eels also spawn hear and provide rich foraging grounds for predators such as sharks, skates and rays, and several seabird species including black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, northern gannet and Sandwich tern.

There are very few offshore sites protected in English seas. Designation of this marine conservation zone in 2019 would be a valuable addition to the UK network of MPAs, and should afford this seabed protection from damaging activities such as heavy, bottom-towed fishing gear.

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

71.95 km2 (27.78 mi.2)


34.78 km (21.61 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

52° 5' 40" North, 1° 53' 1" East

Did you know?…

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed

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

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

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