37 more Marine Conservation Zones to be considered

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 24 February 2014

37 more Marine Conservation Zones to be considered We are pleased to hear this afternoon’s (24th February 2014) announcement by Defra that a further 37 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are being considered for designation in 2015.

37 more Marine Conservation Zones to be considered We are pleased to hear this afternoon’s (24th February 2014) announcement by Defra that a further 37 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are being considered for designation in 2015. However, this is still a long way off what is needed for a full network of protection to reduce the considerable decline in marine biodiversity in English waters. At a meeting of stakeholders in London to discuss the development of the UK’s Marine Protected Area network, Defra announced the list of sites but said the official consultation on the second tranche of MCZs won’t begin until early 2015. It’s good news that the Government has recognized the importance of providing more detail on which sites they are focusing on along with potential management measures. In the past, due to lack of information, there was some scaremongering and hype that the MCZs would prevent all activities when in most instances, low impact fishing and recreation will continue as before, though the use of bottom-towed gear will need managing. It’s good to hear which sites Government has prioritised for the 2nd tranche of MCZs, but this is still a long way off the full network. Melissa Moore, Senior Policy Officer said “It’s good to hear which sites Government has prioritised for the second tranche of MCZs, but this is still a long way off the full network. We hope this tranche, along with the promised third tranche are designated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. As before, we will help gather more data on the inshore sites through our volunteer Seasearch divers this year, but Government must designate more offshore sites for broadscale habitats too. Ø 27 MCZs were designated in the first tranche in November 2013 - one hundred shy of the 127 originally recommended as necessary to deliver England’s contribution to an Ecologically Coherent Network in UK seas. Melissa Moore says MCS is extremely concerned that, as a result of Government’s de-regulation agenda, a number of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) are considering voluntary management measures, rather than byelaws: “We are presently awaiting more detail on management measures for the first 27 sites, but voluntary management has consistently been proven not to work. However great the buy in, one or two fishermen, often fishers from outside the local area can ruin the efforts of the majority. Without legal redress the good work of many can be spoiled, often irrevocably, by a few. It is vital that these MCZs are not ‘paper parks’.” Here’s the list of 37 provisional sites to be considered for the second tranche of MCZs: Coquet to St Mary’s Farne’s East Fulmar Runswick Bay Compass Rose Holderness Inshore Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds Swale Estuary Dover to Deal Dover to Folkestone Offshore Brighton Offshore Overfalls Utopia Bembridge Norris to Ryde Yarmouth to Cowes The Needles Studland Bay Western Channel Mounts Bay Lands End North-West of Jones Bank Greater Haig Fras Newquay and the Gannel Hartland Point to Tintagel Bideford to Foreland Point North of Lundy South of Celtic Deep Celtic Deep East of Celtic Deep Mid St Georges Channel North St Georges Channel Slieve Na Griddle South Rigg West of Walney Mud Hole Allonby Bay

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