Camel Estuary MCZ

Status: Proposed

Description

Site overview

Part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the North Cornish coast, the Camel Estuary is enjoyed year-round by thousands of visitors and residents alike, including those using the famous Camel Trail cycle way. The estuary’s mudflats and reedbeds provide a home for a wealth of marine invertebrates and are an important foraging habitat for wading birds, as well as a key nursery habitat for fish. The estuary is a designated Bass Nursery Area where fishing for bass is prohibited during Summer and Autumn. Otters are regularly spotted thriving in this rich and productive habitat.

Designation of this marine conservation zone in 2019 will protect this special place from any current or future potentially damaging activities.

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

2.22 km2 (0.86 mi.2)

Perimeter

35.78 km (22.23 mi.)

  • Intertidal mud

    The quiet water in sheltered estuaries and harbours allows very fine silt and clay to settle and form a layer of mud that can be exposed at low tide. These glistening muddy expanses can be packed ful of life and are sometimes called the ‘larders of the s

  • Low energy intertidal rock

    Rocky seashores, sheltered from waves and currents dominated by seaweeds and exposed at low tide.

  • Intertidal coarse sediment

    Where small rocks, pebbles, and gravel, sometimes mixed with coarse sand are sometimes covered by the tide. While it may not look like much lives there - there are animals specially adapted to live in the moist spaces between the shingle and gravel.

  • Coastal saltmarshes and saline reedbeds

    Saltmarshes link the land and the sea and create very specialised conditions for particular plants. They form a natural coastal defence and are home to a large variety of life. Associated reedbeds are equally rich and improtant and support iconic species

  • Estuarine rocky habitats

    Estuaries are usually soft, muddy places, so rock and stable boulders in estuaries are rare and offer a great habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals.

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

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

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!