Holderness Offshore MCZ
Lying about 11km off the East Riding coast is a range of sandy and gravel habitats. These make vital homes for a plethora of worms, molluscs and crustaceans, which in turn provide food for fish, including species we eat. In addition, the area provides breeding and nursery habitats for lemon sole, plaice and sprat, the fish many of us know as ‘whitebait’. This site would therefore protect an important part of the food chain on which we ourselves depend. Seabed surveys have also recorded the threatened ocean quahog, a large, slow-growing mollusc that can live for hundreds years, but is particularly vulnerable to bottom-towed gear. The area is presently fished by potters from Bridlington.
There are very few sites that lie beyond 6nm and are properly protected in English seas. MCS believes this site should be considered for designation as a Highly Protected Marine Area where all human activities that negatively impact marine wildlife are prohibited.
MPA TypeMarine 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 Area1,176.12 km2 (454.10 mi.2)
Perimeter178.74 km (111.06 mi.)
Coordinates (central point)53° 49' 8" North, 0° 26' 27" East
Sandy seascapes that can seem a bit like deserts, but can be full of life. Flat fish and sand eels camouflaged on the surface of the sand,worms and bivalves (with their paired, hinged shells) all live in places like these.
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
Subtidal mixed sediments
Undersea beds of a mixture of stones, gravels, sands and muds. Because mixed seabeds are so varied, they may support a wide range of animals, both on and in the sediment.
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 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’