Marine conservation zone
What is a Marine Conservation Zone...and why is Living Coasts supporting it?
Living Coasts, as part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, has the strapline ‘a world rich in wildlife and wild places’. This very much includes the marine environment, and Living Coasts, as part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, is the voice for coastal wildlife.
The problem with the marine world is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Marine and coastal areas are attractive but also very vulnerable environments. Over the years Living Coasts has discussed:
- The problems of overfishing
- The problems of plastics in our seas
- The problems of bycatch
- The problems of destructive fisheries
- The biodiversity of the seas
- The weird and wonderful creatures that can be found under the waves
- The animals that can be found in local waters
- The need to conserve our seas
The information for the above issues are shared on site with school groups and visitors, and with specialist groups in and around Torbay.
Living Coasts campaigned with the Marine Conservation Society, and many other non-government organisations, for a network of Marine Conservation Zones. 127 sites were recommended and 27 designated.
Torbay's Marine Conservation Zone
We are pleased to have the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Torbay and to work with the many organisations to maintain this. They include:
- Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – designation of the MCZs
- Marine Management Organisation (MMO ) – have byelaw making powers and statutory responsibility
- Inshore Fisheries Conservation Agency (IFCA) – enforcement
- Natural England (NE) - advisors to DEFRA
- Environment Agency (EA) – regulatory for bathing waters and aquaculture
- Torbay Harbour Authority – management authority for activities in the harbour and on the coast
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are Marine Protected Areas. The plan is to create a of a network of protected areas around England to conserve the amazing diversity of species and habitats.
MCZs Encourages Sustainable Use Of The Sea
Marine habitats are bio diverse – but are under represented and under protected. The protection of the marine habitats, and biodiversity there in, is decades behind that of terrestrial habitats. There is human pressure both above and below the waves that directly affects this biodiversity. This human pressure comes in many forms, from the shipping highway, the human playground to the fishing industry.
In Torbay the reefs and seagrass beds provide immensely rich and valuable habitats as nursery grounds for many fish species and homes for such enigmatic species as the seahorse. They are hotspots for marine biodiversity.
Aims and Objectives
- We need people from across the community to support MCZs
- We support sustainable fisheries – promote sustainable seafood
- We support responsible recreation
- We aim to educate and advocate for marine conservation and biodiversity
- We aim to promote the value of the sea for all / for biodiversity/ as life on earths support system
How You Can Help
Please support the campaign for further Marine Conservation Zones.
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