Offshore Overfalls

Overview The sea bed in this area is covered in sand and gravel; these provide important habitats for fish including sandeels, flat fish, starfish, rays, bass, turbot, brill, cod, tope and brown crabs. This site is the one of the only sites in the region which is designated for the undulate ray. This is classed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN threatened species list. With dwindling numbers, this ray is in serious decline - and this site could offer protection if it is properly managed. The main feature of this area is the Overfalls in the north-west corner of the site. This area is used by large numbers of anglers to catch a range of fish.

Other information

When this site was still being considered as a MCZ the Marine Socio-Economics Project (MSEP) conducted an impact assessment of the area. This looked as understanding the outcomes of designation on both local people and the environment.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


50° 29' 43" North,
0° 43' 15" West

Surface Area

594.68 km2
(229.61 mi.2 )


99.26 km
(61.68 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Subtidal sand (Broad-scale habitat)
  • Subtidal coarse sediment (Broad-scale habitat)
  • Subtidal mixed sediments (Broad-scale habitat)


  • English Channel Outburst Flood Features (Quaternary fluvio-glacial erosion features) (Geological or geomorphological feature of interest)