MCZ report

Cuttlefish by Polly Whyte/earthinfocus

Securing the benefits of the Marine Conservation Zone Network, a new report from the Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research at Plymouth University, highlights the benefits to be gained by society and the economy by designating MCZs.

It reveals that current benefits e.g. food security, resilience against environmental challenges and pollution will be increased.

The report predicts potential additional benefits for tourism, commercial fishing, improved natural coastal protection and more opportunities for all of us to watch marine and coastal wildlife, but only if an ecologically coherent network of MCZs is reinforced. 

Marine Conservation Zones

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Jewel anemones by Sally SharrockJewel anemones by Sally Sharrock

We need your voice to help protect our seas, and call on the Government to ensure that a network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) is created and protected for the future.

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a type of Marine Protected Area, designated to protect the UKs nationally important marine habitats and species. In 2013 the government designated the first 27 MCZs, as part of their commitment to establish a network of sites by 2016. To enable our marine life to recover and flourish, a coherent network of sites needs to be established right around our coastline, in order to protect the vast array of habitats and species found in UK waters.
In February 2014, Defra announced a list of 37 possible MCZs. These sites, if designated, will be vital in helping to establish a coherent network of protected habitats. The 27 sites designated in 2013 are simply not enough to protect and restore our valuable marine environment. As such, we are calling on you to show your support for our seas, and show the government how important it is to secure their protection for the future.

Visit the Wildlife Trust Marine Conservation Zones pages now to:

  • Find out more about MCZs
  • Show your support for Marine Conservation Zones, through the Friends of the MCZs campaign

Philippa Lyons, Chief Executive of BBOWT, and Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries. Photo by Alex Orrow.Many of us are amazed when we see porpoises and dolphins off our coasts, and watch sea birds such as gannets dive like rockets into the sea to catch fish.

Without the habitats they need, such as underwater sandbanks, kelp forests and canyons, there simply wouldn’t be any fish, let alone the fabulously coloured jewel anemones, delicate seahorses and amazing birds and mammals that are part of healthy seas.

Designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) will, in most cases, allow sustainable fishing and sport or recreation uses to continue, while protecting species and habitats from damaging and degrading activities, including bottom-trawling fishing, dredging for sand and the use of powerful speedboats that churn up the sea floor.