Connect with us
background

News

Third round of Marine Conservation Zone designation could result in 40% of English seas being protected

Published

on

Marine Conservation Society says proposed new sites have potential to protect a wide range of marine wildlife and habitats

Last week’s announcement that the designation of 41 proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) for English waters will be open to public consultation over the next six weeks has been welcomed by the UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

However, the charity says that designation is only the first step to creating a network of sites. It says a ‘whole-site approach’ – not just protecting vulnerable parts within a site – to management is key, and that adequate funding must be found to ensure these final sites are not protected in name alone.

It is fantastic to have this last set of sites proposed after much painstaking work since 2009, when the process to select special places deserving protection began,” says Sandy Luk, MCS Chief Executive Officer. “With every one of them designated, we will have enough of the sea in protected areas to provide a fantastic foundation for ensuring marine life can recover and thrive.

Defra’s ambition in its 25 Year Environment Plan is to protect entire sites, and this consultation looks at providing areas with a high level of protection. It has never been more important that we deliver both of these ambitions!

MCS has been keen to see a ‘whole site approach’ to management of MCZs since the first sites were designated in 2012. Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, MCS Principal Specialist on Marine Protected Areas says: “At last we are seeing the opportunity to provide more comprehensive protection across a variety of habitats that can protect fish as well as worms, prawns, reefs, lobsters, coral and sponges. So far, management of England’s MCZs hasn’t resulted in any meaningful recovery. Perhaps this new approach will finally meet our goals for these important areas.


MCS says it’s important that sound scientific advice isn’t ignored as has happened in the past when plans to protect many important sites, with plentiful evidence, were shelved.Among the sites put forward for the public consultation, which starts today, is Beachy Head East, which is well known for its offshore reefs, muds and sands around the Royal Sovereign Shoals lighthouse. It extends way offshore, but was initially rejected in the 2013 process and protection for the site was delayed until now. South-west Approaches to Bristol Channel is an area that hosts a reef complex, and a sand and gravel seabed. Recovery of the fish populations and wider species in this rich sea would widely benefit the animals, and migratory species (such as common dolphin, sharks and seabirds) that regularly visit this site.

Further offshore, South West Deeps East is an area that could show phenomenal recovery following intense historical fishing pressure. MCS has received reports of massive hauls of giant mussel-like ‘fan shells’ in the past. Allowing such communities to recover will make the area highly productive once again.

South Rigg, and other sites in the Irish Sea could help recovery of fish such as cod, haddock, ling, and even common skate, a fish that is now extremely rare.  Protection of these sites, coupled with a ban on discards from fisheries, could bring greater species richness and better support a thriving fishing community, too.

The Marine Conservation Society urges the public to take part in the consultation, and support the designation of the sites. More information can be found at:  www.mcsuk.org/mpa.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

Published

on

For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 13/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
Continue Reading

Gear News

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)

Published

on

How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Facebook Feed

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Popular