Six North Sea sites, including Coquet to St Mary’s and Farnes East, have been included in a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones announced by the Government. The news was welcomed by Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Marine Conservation Zones are vital to protect and restore the marine environment. Such areas are one of the best tools to protect marine wildlife effectively and restore our seas to their full potential following decades of neglect and decline. They are also needed for mobile species, such as whales, dolphins, basking sharks and seabirds, in order to create a network that is truly ecologically coherent.
Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: “We are pleased by the Government’s commitment, to a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones.
“I am delighted that there are six North Sea sites on the list - Coquet to St Marys, Farnes East, Runswick Bay, Compass Rose, Holderness Inshore and Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds and that the 27 areas designated at the end of last year were the first step towards an ecologically coherent network. We are buoyed by progress being made towards the next step in its creation.
“There is huge public support for greater protection of our seas using Marine Protected Areas. They are one of the best tools to protect marine wildlife effectively and restore our seas to their full potential, following decades of neglect and decline.”
In November 2013, The Wildlife Trusts welcomed Defra’s immediate designation of 27 Marine Conservation Zones, the first step towards the creation of an ecologically coherent network.
At that time, Marine Environment Minister George Eustice also announced plans to designate two more phases of MCZs over the next three years to complete the Government’s contribution.