Isles of Scilly Sites - Bristows to the Stones the Stones MCZ

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), a type of Marine Protected Area, is actually one of 11 which make up the Isles of Scilly MCZs. These sites are approximately 45 kilometers southwest of the Cornish coast and cover a total area of over 30 km2.  These areas include a variety of habitats and species and the water ranges from sea level to 70 meters deep. The shallow inshore areas are rich in seaweeds, rocky areas are home to encrusting animals such as barnacles and sea squirts, as well as crabs and fish that use the spaces between rocks and boulders for shelter. Sandy habitats support burrowing marine worms and shrimp-like sandhoppers, whilst deeper waters support sea-fans and anemones.  Both the short-snouted and the spiny seahorse are found here, as are rare species including sunset cup corals. 

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

27.52 km2 (10.63 mi.2)

Perimeter

21.54 km (13.39 mi.)

  • Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)

    Crustaceans named for the sharp spines all over their heavy, orange-brown shells. They used to be fished commercially, but numbers have decreased dramatically and this species has disappeared entirely from some parts of England where they were common.

  • Pink sea-fan (Eunicella verrucosa)

    A soft coral, related to tropical species and one of the most exotic-looking of our seabed animals. These delicately branched colonies of tiny animals are in turn home to other creatures.

  • High energy circalittoral rock

    Rocky areas affected by strong waves or currents where the water depth means there is not enough sunlight so marine animal communities like sponges, sea firs and soft corals dominate and seaweeds are mostly absent.

  • Fragile sponge & anthozoan communities on subtidal rocky habitats

    Anthozoans are a group of soft animals with feathery tentacles, which includes soft corals, sea-fans, cup corals and anemones. Members of this group can be found together with branching sponges on steeply sloping bedrock or large boulders in depths from

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

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