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New Marine Conservation Zones for Cornwall

New Marine Conservation Zones for Cornwall

Great news for Cornwall today as four areas around the coastline have been designated as Marine Conservation Zones. Padstow Bay, Whitsand & Looe Bay, the Upper Fowey Estuary a collection of sites in the Isles of Scilly have now been given protected status by the Government.

The four areas in Cornwall are among 27 new Marine Conservation Zones created nationwide to help better protect our rich marine life. These will join over 500 marine protected areas that already exist in the UK.

Coral reefs, jellyfish and seahorses are just some of the marine life that will be better protected following the creation of 27 new Marine Conservation Zones.

The UK has one of the world’s richest marine environments and these new sites will join over 500 marine protected areas that already exist to ensure it stays that way.

The MCZs will cover an area roughly three times the size of Wiltshire and will span the waters around the English coast. The sites will be protected from damaging activities to ensure their features are conserved.

Marine Environment Minister George Eustice has also announced plans to designate two more phases of MCZs over the next three years to complete our contribution to a network of marine protected areas. A consultation on the next phase is expected to be launched in early 2015.

Making the announcement, Marine Environment Minister George Eustice said: “We are doing more than ever to protect our marine environment. Almost a quarter of English inshore waters and nine per cent of UK waters will now be better protected.

“These Marine Conservation Zones will safeguard a wide range of precious sea life from seahorses to oyster beds and our ambitions do not end there.

“These new sites will make a valuable contribution to conserving marine life around our coast and will provide greater protection for around 8,000 sq km of offshore and around 2,000 sq km of inshore waters.”

Action will be taken to ensure that the new sites are properly protected from damaging activities, taking into account local needs. Restrictions will differ from site to site depending on what features the site intends to protect.cause harm to wildlife or damaging habitats that are being conserved in the MCZ.

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 for years to come.

George Eustice added: “It is important to remember MCZs are only one piece of the jigsaw. Over 500 marine protected areas already exist around the UK. Together with MCZs these sites will help safeguard our rich marine environment and keep our seas sustainable, healthy and productive for future generations.”

More information on the Government website >

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