Skerries Bank and Surrounds MCZ
This site is an inshore area on the South Devon coast. It runs along the coast from Leek Cove at Limebury Point to Torcross, and extends from the coastline out to depths of approximately 70 meters. Spiny lobsters are found in the site anywhere from the coast up to depths of 70 meters, in the bedrock and boulders. This area is also known to be an important area for flat fish to breed. The pink sea-fan, a type of coral, is found growing on rocks here. It can grow up to 80 cm high and 100 cm across. They are really very fragile and slow growing, so are particularly vulnerable as they can be easily damaged.
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 Area249.18 km2 (96.21 mi.2)
Perimeter120.77 km (75.04 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.
Moderate energy circalittoral rock
Deeper water rock, with some shelter from waves and currents.
A very rich and diverse muddy undersea habitat that supports high numbers of worms, cockles and other shellfish, urchins and sea cucumbers as well as sea pens, burrowing anemones and brittlestars.
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
High energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, exposed to very strong waves and currents.
Moderate energy intertidal rock
Rocky seashores, above low tide, with some shelter from waves and currents. On these shores, there are places where plants and animals can find shelter from the waves – the landward sides of boulders, in cracks and crevices, and in rock pools.
Intertidal sand and muddy sand
The beach! Sandy shores are made up of clean sand or slightly muddy sand, often scattered with seashells and stones. The surface is often ‘rippled’ by the action of waves. Below the surface worms and shellfish stay safe and damp.
Intertidal mixed sediments
Sheltered shores where there is a mixture of pebbles, gravels, sands and mud and there may also be rocks and a few large boulders. Because it’s diverse, it provides a home for a wide variety of animals.
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.
High energy infralittoral rock
Shallow water rock, below the tides, exposed to very strong waves and currents.
Moderate energy infralittoral rock
Shallow water rock, below the tides, with some shelter from waves and currents.
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 within the site. Divers recorded seeing pink sea fans.Learn more about Seasearch
Did you know?…
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers
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