You may think that deep muddy plains would be like an empty desert but these habitats have the potential to be as diverse as the Amazon rainforest
We are using dirty tactics to raise the profile of our misunderstood and marvellously muddy Irish Sea and encourage people to support the protection of wildlife at sea.
Mud is rich in nutrients and supports a vast array of creatures from masked crabs to delicate sea pens, strange spoon worms and the world’s longest-lived animal, a clam called the ocean quahog. On or above the mud are plaice, sole, cod, haddock and whiting. In turn these nutrient-rich seas support seabirds, whales, dolphins and sharks. This is the circle of life in full spin.
We urgently need more protection for muddy habitats
Nationally, The Wildlife Trusts are trying to secure a network of protected areas at sea to help our coastal and marine wildlife to recover and thrive.
Since 2013, four Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) have been designated in the Irish Sea, two of these will protect mud habitats in our shallow coastal seas and their associated species, however, no management has been implemented to date.
Three deep water mud sites have been put forward to the Government as recommended MCZs but have not yet been designated. These sites are needed to complete the network of protected areas in the Irish Sea. To secure protection for these areas we need both public and political support.
We want to tell everyone about how rich and important deep muddy habitats are. We organise mud-themed events across the coast of the North West and try and spread the love for mud through our campaigns.
Join us in spreading the word by going mad and getting muddy, send us pictures of you and your friends or family getting muddy this summer for #MarineMudness: