Isle of Wight among new Marine Conservation Zones

CEO of the Wildlife Trust says with three local areas now designated, the task ahead is to ensure the management and conservation measures live up to the promise and really play a part in restoring our marine life and livelihoods

A male cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) guards a female (out of view inside weeds, you can actually just see her in front of male's tentacles) as she lays eggs within the seaweeds. Babbacombe Bay, Torbay, Devon, England. This picture was taken during the spring (May) spawning period. This male is showing a striped pattern, classic colouration during mating.

Hannah shares this latest news on behalf of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Ed

Local seas to get the protection they deserve, as Isle of Wight waters are amongst new ‘Marine Conservation Zones’ announced by Government.

The Government has today (Friday 31st May) announced the designation of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) around the coasts of England and Northern Ireland.  These areas have been recognised for their special habitats and wildlife and include local sites ‘Yarmouth to Cowes’ and ‘Bembridge’.  

Isle of Wight Marine Conservation Zone

Since 2013, a total of 91 areas have been awarded Marine Conservation Zone status, including another local site, ‘the Needles’, which was designated in 2016. 

Seahorse Image: © Alexander Mustard 2020VISION

Responding to today’s announcement, Debbie Tann, CEO of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are very pleased to see two local areas given this level of recognition. We have some incredible marine species and habitats here – from colour changing cuttlefish and magnificent seagrass meadows to seahorses and stalked jellyfish – and we know that, with such busy local waters, our wildlife can really struggle.  Properly managed, these new underwater ‘nature reserves’ around the Island should provide much needed safe-havens and will form part of a wider Nature Recovery Network across English waters.  

“Thank you to everyone who backed our campaign to secure these vital protections. Over the past decade or more we have gathered evidence and public support for these Marine Conservation Zones. With three local areas now designated, the task ahead is to ensure that the management and conservation measures live up to this promise and really play a part in restoring our marine life and livelihoods. 

“We are, of course, disappointed that we don’t yet have a complete local network, as we are still missing protections for other important habitats and areas such as the seagrass meadows found between Norris and Ryde and the native oyster beds at Fareham Creek. However, today’s announcement does take us a significant step closer to creating a wilder future for our seas.” 

Image: Tompot blenny_Dorset © Linda Pitkin 2020VISION

Friday, 31st May, 2019 6:17am



Filed under: Green Issues, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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6 Comments on "Isle of Wight among new Marine Conservation Zones"

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Great news! Shame we haven’t got the protection yet for the seagrass beds, but maybe that can come next.


This is great news! Well done to all groups who have campaigned for this.


So no more anchoring for large vessels off Thorness or small vessels in and around Newtown?


What about all the tankers that anchor off Nab Tower/Sandown Bay ?


They’ll presumably have to anchor elsewhere.


Nice idea. So who is going to enforce these regulations? Where is the money going to come from to pay for the enforcement?