In January 2016 the area located in the eastern English Channel, approximately 45km south of Selsey Bill, West Sussex has been designated the Brighton Offshore Marine Conservation Zone
The area covering some 862sqKm stretches from Brighton to the West and the southerly edges touch onto the median line with French Waters.The actual position is the area bounded by the following coordinates:
- 50 22.916N 0 17.895W (North East)
- 50 13.162N 0 15.583W (South East)
- 50 08.172N 0 52.990W (South West)
- 50 19.239N 0 54.20W (North West)
The seabed in the Brighton Offshore MCZ is predominantly coarse sands, gravel and shingle with areas of exposed bedrock and mixed sediments. There is a diverse range of species found living within the sediments. Hydroids, bryozoans and sponges occupy the boulders and cobbles, where hermit crabs and starfish also thrive. Burying animals such as worms, sea anemones, burrowing anemones, carpet shell clams, venus cockles and other bivalves live within the mixed sediments
The purpose of the MCZ is to protect features of this habitat. Activities will continue in this area that maintain the current situation, but will be reviewed if a deteriation is recorded. Activities that harm the environment will be limited to allow the location to recover. Benthic trawling will almost certainly be restricted.