Marine Conservation Zones – MCZ

In November 2013 the minister announced the designation of 27 MCZs in English inshore and English and Welsh offshore waters and outlined plans for future zones.

You can see the location of the 27 designated sites and find out further information about each site at JNCC Interactive Map.

Beachy Head West MCZ extends to about 0.5Nm offshore from Beachy Head and continues all the way to Brighton Marina with only a small break around the entrance to Newhaven Port. The extent of the MCZ can be seen here. The zone was designated mainly for specific species and environments found in the area. Among the species are Seahorses (hippocampus hippocampus and hippocampus guttulatus) and the Native Oyster (ostrea edulis). The unique environment is the sub-littoral chalk and blue mussel beds.

 MCZ Management

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 sets up the MCZs. In conjunction with new Organisation to produce marine plans, administer marine environmental licensing, manage marine fisheries and enforce environmental protection laws.

Recently I have agreed to cover the MCZ tranche 1 meetings for the SE region. The South East Region has 4 MCZs including Thanet Coast, Beachy Head West, Kingmere and Pagham Harbour. I am looking forward to playing my part in protecting these sites and producing a sustainable plan to manage theses environments for the future.