Marine Conservation Zones in England
In England, nationally important habitats and species are protected through Marine Conservation Zones. The UK Government designated the MCZ network through a phased approach and designated the first 27 sites at the end of 2013.
A further 23 sites were designated at the start of 2016, bringing us up to 50 MCZs in English and Secretary of State waters.
In June 2018 the Government announced its ambition to create 41 more conservation zones in the seas around England and a consultation took place asking the public to share views on these new sites. The Wildlife Trusts launched the Wave of Support campaign to encourage people to have their say and received over 22,000 responses calling for better protection of our seas!
The result of this action by The Wildlife Trusts and others has been the designation of a third round of Marine Conservation Zones in 2019 consisting of 41 MCZs in English waters and secretary of state waters. This brings the total to 91 MCZ, 10 of which are in the Irish Sea.
Taken together this network of MCZs around the UK will go a long way in helping to protect and conserve important marine habitats and wildlife for the future. However, we need to make sure that these sites are managed correctly, to give our ocean wildlife the best possible chance of recovery.