Cape Bank MCZ

Status: Proposed

Description

Site overview

This large site extends approximately 25km from the Cornish Peninsula and includes a rocky reef system characterised by rich reef communities of fish and invertebrates. The spiny lobster, a declining species, thrives here. This important site is regularly foraged by seals, cetaceans and seabirds, while basking sharks feed here during the summer.

There are very few sites that lie beyond 6nm that are properly 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

473.61 km2 (182.86 mi.2)

Perimeter

99.94 km (62.10 mi.)

  • Moderate energy circalittoral rock

    Deeper water rock, with some shelter from waves and currents.

  • Subtidal coarse sediment

    Undersea beds of coarse sand, gravel and shingle. Most of the animals that live here, like bristleworms, sand mason worms, small shrimp-like animals, burrowing anemones, carpet shell clams and venus cockles, are found buried in the seabed – the safest pl

Did you know?…

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

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

The future of fisheries is being decided

Fisheries CampaignThe UK government has opened a public consultation asking how we think they should manage our fisheries after Brexit through a new Fisheries Bill.

Act now!