The North West gains two Marine Conservation Zones

On 21 November 2013, the Government designated 27 Marine Conservation Zones.

The zones were designated as the culmination of an intensive stakeholder-informed process to develop new marine protected areas around in English waters under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 however of the 127 MCZs put forward by the four stakeholder projects only 31 were taken forward and considered for designation in this first tranche and of this 31 only 27 of these have been confirmed as MCZs, with two of the 4 North West sites being missed off the designation list.

Cumbria Coast and Fylde Offshore have now been designated. Hilbre Island Group was apparently rejected on the basis of costliness (one other – Stour and Orwell, not in the North West, also suffered this fate) and the North of Celtic Deep will be considered in the next phase of designations which is expected to be launched in 2015.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment George Eustice, MP, said “We very much see the new MCZs as the beginning and not an end.”

Fylde MCZ is located in Liverpool Bay, lying between 3 and 20 km off the Fylde coast and Ribble estuary. The site protects an area of approximately 260 km2

Cumbria Coast MCZ is an inshore site that stretches for approximately 27 km along the coast of Cumbria. It extends from south of Whitehaven, around the cliffs at St Bees Head, to the mouth of the Ravenglass Estuary. The total area of the site is approximately 18 km2

For more information follow this link  or alternatively see some of the key documents below:

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