Poole Rocks MCZ
This is an inshore site lying just to the east of the entrance to Poole Harbour, made up of several small patches of low-lying rocky outcrops. The shallow water area here is covered in sponges, bryozoans and hydroids rather than seaweeds, and a few solitary pink sea fans have been recorded on nearby patches of rock. The rarely recorded Couch’s goby has been spotted in this site and fish, such as pouting and pollack, often shoal over the rocks. Several wrasse species, including Ballan wrasse, nest among the rocks of the reef. The native oyster is also found here.
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 Area3.74 km2 (1.45 mi.2)
Perimeter7.75 km (4.81 mi.)
Moderate energy circalittoral rock
Deeper water rock, with some shelter from waves and currents.
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.
Native oyster beds (Ostrea edulis)
Native oysters are two shelled animals - one half is like a cup and attaches to the rock, the other is flat and forms a lid. In shallow water on fine, muddy sand, they can be found in huge numbers and form extensive beds, which become home to many other m
Seasearch has surveyed this site on a number of occasions. They were involved in detailed surveying prior to this site being protected in order to gather information on what needed to be cared for. Surveys in 2017 concentrated on the reefs to the east of the MCZ, to gether evidence to extend the boundary to encompass all the patch reefs in the vicinity, which are home to the easternmost pink sea fans found in the UK.Learn more about Seasearch
Did you know?…
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
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’