Friends of MCZs


Become a Friend of Marine Conservation Zones

The Irish Sea is home to diverse communities of marine life.

Deep muddy plains under the sea may look like deserts, but they've the potential to be as diverse as rain forests on land.

Our coasts and estuaries provide habitats and rich food sources for a wealth of birds, fish & other wildlife.

But these coastal and undersea landscapes have already been damaged, fish populations have declined and species are at risk.

Be part part of the solution that protects marine life.
Become a friend of Marine Conservation Zones

Deep muddy plains

Sensitive habitats need urgent protection

Paul Naylor

Ocean quahog

Help save the world's longest lived animal

Angus Robinson


This estuarine fish has declined dramatically


Paul Naylor

How we protect the Irish sea

What is a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ)?

In England, nationally important habitats and species are protected through Marine Conservation Zones.

How many Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are there now?

There are 91 MCZ, 10 of which are in the Irish Sea.

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.

Get involved

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.

Become a Friend of Marine Conservation Zones. You'll help to ensure our marvellous marine life gets the protection it needs. Subscribe below.

You can help protect the marine life you love

Join our growing team of ‘Friends of Marine Conservation Zones’. Help to ensure our marvellous marine life gets, and keeps, the protection it needs.
Prawns & Sea Pens

Paul Naylor

Delve deeper

Discover the Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea