Feb 12, 2015

Second Tranch of Marine Conservation Zones - Give your Views now

From 30 January 2015 to 24 April 2015 the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is running a consultation on the Second Tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) including Allonby Bay on the English side of the Solway.


The 23 sites proposed for designation in the second tranche cover a total area of 10,810 km2 adding to the 9,664 km2 already protected by the 27 MCZs designated in 2013. The consultation aims to gather views and opinions from stakeholders and the general public while offering an opportunity to provide DEFRA with additional scientific or economic evidence concerning the sites.


DEFRA states that: “MCZs, together with other types of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), will form the UK contribution to an international ecologically coherent network of MPAs and help to deliver the vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. […] [The] implementation of the second tranche of MCZs is one of several measures that will contribute towards achieving Good Environmental Status in our seas.”


Within the Solway, Allonby Bay is one of the 23 recommended Marine Conservation Zones (rMCZs). Classified as an inshore site, Allonby Bay stretches for approximately 9km along the coast and extends from Dubmill Point in the north to just north of Maryport in the south. Covering a total area of approximately 40km2, the site extends from the intertidal zone to approximately 5.5km off the coast to a depth of 6 metres.


Allonby Bay supports nationally important living reefs formed by honeycomb worm and blue mussel beds. The reef structures attract a wide range of species such as anemones, snails, shore crabs and seaweeds. Of further importance are Allonby’s intertidal sandy beaches providing a habitat for shrimp-like sandhoppers, cockles, sea snails and worms. Lastly, areas of peat exposure, also present within this site, support piddocks and other species.


For additional information, expected impacts and site specific protected features, refer to the MCZ proposal for Allonby Bay.


If you wish to respond to the proposals and take part in the consultation, please complete DEFRA’s online survey.

Solway Firth Partnership