East of Haig Fras MCZ

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site is located approximately 67 km north west of Land’s End, in the Celtic Sea. The site has an area of around 400 km2 and is situated on a plateau on the UK continental shelf. This is a deep water site, which means that the amount of light reaching the seabed is limited, which results in only a small amount of plant life growing here. The seabed is mainly home to different animal communities. ¬†This unique seabed is characterised by canyons and strong tidal streams, which create a very specific sea-floor habitat. Worms, molluscs, sponges, starfish and anemones have all made this place home. Additionally, the site also supports numerous fish species such as scaldfish.¬†

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

399.97 km2 (154.43 mi.2)


80.00 km (49.71 mi.)

  • Moderate energy circalittoral rock

    Deeper water rock, with some shelter from waves and currents.

  • Subtidal coarse sediment and subtidal mixed sediments mosaic

    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.

  • Subtidal mud

    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.

  • Subtidal sand

    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.

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 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’

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