South-West Approaches to Bristol Channel MCZ
This site is important because it is a large offshore site that would protect a range of sand, gravel and shingle habitats, and one of the few MPAs beyond 6nm that protects muddy seabed. Muddy habitats are highly productive, home to burrowing worms, molluscs and crustaceans, which in turn provide food for many fish species, including those fish we eat. This site will protect part of the food chain on which we depend and should be designated.
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 Area1,128.07 km2 (435.55 mi.2)
Perimeter153.14 km (95.15 mi.)
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’