Marine Conservation Zones

Mannacles sea urchin by Matt Slater

Protected areas, including Marine Conservation Zones, are one of the most crucial tools for conserving marine wildlife. Join our campaign to support an ecologically coherent network of MCZs.

As a result of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, a network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) has been created that protect marine species and habitats.

MCZs provide an opportunity to halt and reverse the damage and degradation of the marine environment by controlling the human activities conducted in certain areas.

Government has decided that these MCZs will be identified in three key stages, or tranches. 27 MCZs were designated in tranche 1 in November 2013 as the first step in this process, resulting in eight fully designated MCZs in Cornwall.

Second wave of marine protection welcomed in Cornwall

We welcome the recent designation of 23 Marine Conservation Zones

On the 17th January, the Government announced it is designating a second phase of 23 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) across the UK.

Four of these are around the Cornish coast – Mount's Bay, Runnelstone, Newquay and the Gannel, and Hartland Point to Tintagel - with a further three offshore – Western Channel, North West of Jones Bank, and Greater Haig Fras.

This historic move illustrates a renewed impetus to protect our seas and follows on from the announcement of 27 MCZs in 2013. This is the second of three phases promised by the Government in order to fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

there's still work to be done...

This will be the start of turning our over-exploited and currently under-protected waters back into a healthy and sustainable environment

Cornwall Wildlife Trust looks forward to working with Government and stakeholders to ensure the designated MCZs are properly managed and to achieve the much-needed ambitious and comprehensive third and final tranche. 

We are calling for anyone interested in protecting our seas to join more than 8,000 other passionate supporters and become a Friend of MCZs.

Find out more...

To find out more about MCZs that have been designated across the country, please visit the RSWT website and interactive maps .

Seaweed Landscape, photo by Matt Slater