Western Channel

Overview Western Channel is one of the largest Marine Conservation Zones (a type of Marine Protected Area), located 54km south-east of Lizard Peninsula. It is 50 m deep. This area is home to a wealth of marine life, from the smaller burrowing anemones, segmented worms, sea urchins and hermit crabs to fish and animals that feed off them, such as basking sharks, foraging seabirds, and the short-beaked common dolphin. The area is hugely influenced by Atlantic currents, which bring an abundance of nutrients from cooler, deeper waters into the shallower, sunlit surface waters here.

Extra 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. The results are displayed in an infographic which displays the trade-offs in a visual way.

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


49° 25' 10" North,
4° 48' 21" West

Surface Area

1,614.13 km2
(623.22 mi.2 )


225.19 km
(139.93 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


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