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’.
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.
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