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#WaveOfSupport a new campaign for 41 new Marine Conservation Zones

Monday 25th June 2018

Long-snouted seahorse at Studland Bay, one of the potential Marine Conservation Zones. Credit Andrew Pearson

The Wildlife Trusts launched a new campaign – #WaveOfSupport – to give everyone the chance to campaign for 41 new Marine Conservation Zones around the English coast.

The Government is running a public consultation about protecting 41 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), areas at sea where wildlife is protected from damaging activities. These 41 special places have been chosen for the public to comment on: they include seagrass meadows in Dorset’s Studland Bay, and special mud habitats in the Irish Sea.

None of these 41 places will be designated unless there is public support for their protection, say The Wildlife Trusts. That’s why we are urging the public to have their say and join a giant #WaveOfSupport e-action campaign. This will call for all 41 potential MCZs to be recognised and protected.

Complete the e-action here before 20 July.

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts says: “It’s rare that people get a chance to influence the future of our precious seas and the beautiful but fragile wild places and animals that live there.

"Since The Wildlife Trusts’ president emeritus, Sir David Attenborough, brought us the Blue Planet series, there’s been a surge of interest in the wonders of marine life coupled with horror at the threats facing the delicate marine environment. We’re offering people a way of channelling this concern into a giant wave of public support to create a network of protected special places at sea.”

Commenting on the Government’s consultation which opened on 8 June, Joan Edwards said at the time: “We’ve been calling for the government to give real protection to a connected network of diverse sea-bed habitats since 2009.

"Only 50 Marine Conservation Zones have been designated so far and this new consultation on 41 special places is really good news. We need to restore the sea-bed that has been ravaged over the past century and allow fragile marine life to recover – and this can only be done with good management. Without these astonishing submerged landscapes there simply wouldn't be any fish, let alone fantastic jewel anemones, seahorses, and all the other wild and extraordinary creatures which are part of a healthy marine ecosystem.”

The Wildlife Trusts believe that the consultation is a step in the right direction for England’s seas. Proper protection of these sites after designation will be essential to ensure that our seas will be given the opportunity to recover.

For more information about MCZs please visit our webpage.

The Government consultation page for MCZs is here