New Marine Conservation Zones Named For England

Angie Gullan/Marine Photobank

Angie Gullan/Marine Photobank

“The beginning and not an end” is how Marine Environment Minister George Eustice described the 27 new marine conservation zones (MCZs) in England that were named this week.

The announcement has received a mixed response, primarily because the number is four less than ministers proposed and far short of the 127 zones recommended by the government’s own consultation.

The Minister pointed out that the MCZs are only part of the jigsaw, since more than five hundred marine protected areas already exist around the UK.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) welcomed the announcement as a “significant milestone for marine conservation”. Here at the P1 Marine Foundation, Projects and Development Manager Sabrina Taseer said “The UK has one of the world’s richest marine environments and these new sites will span the waters around the English coast. It is encouraging that we are doing more than ever to protect our marine environment and we very much welcome the next two phases of the plan coming on stream over the next three years. It is important that action will be taken to ensure the new sites are properly protected from damaging activities, taking into account local needs.”

Designating MCZs to contribute to a network of Marine Protected Areas is a Government commitment under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to ensure that our marine environment is protected in the future.

For a list of Marine Conservation zone 2013 designations, please click here: www.gov.uk/government/collections/marine-conservation-zone-2013-designations