South-West Deeps (West) MCZ

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This is an offshore site situated to the south west of England, approximately 230 km from Land’s End in Cornwall. The sandy sea bed here makes the perfect home for small burrowing worms and bivalve molluscs, urchins, starfish and some crustaceans. 

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

1,823.88 km2 (704.20 mi.2)

Perimeter

216.93 km (134.79 mi.)

  • Fan mussel (Atrina fragilis)

    One of Britain’s largest and most threatened molluscs. They are a two shelled animals like common mussels, but can grow to nearly 50cm in length.  They live with the pointed end of their shell buried in the sediment on the seabed.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Celtic Sea Relict Sandbanks

    These sand banks are some of the largest examples of this feature on Earth and some of the ridges extend up to 200 km long, 15 km wide and 50 m high.

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

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’