More of the UK’s coastline and waters will be given special protection from today after the Government designated 23 new areas as Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).
Seven new Marine Conservation Zones have been confirmed off the Duchy, following a consultation.
It means activities that could damage the environment will be restricted.
Dr Peter Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society said:
“Cornwall, because of where it’s situated in the UK, it has some really fantastic ocean-facing habitats. Reeves, great concentrations of corals such as the pink sea fan and all sorts of fish and invertebrates.”
He added that the zone from Tintagel to Hartland Point in Devon is a good example of what is at stake: “You’ve also got the threatened Porbeagle shark found in those waters. So although these Marine Conservation Zones are designed to protect seabed habitats, if you make sure that your seabed is healthy then it also provides food for some of these other more charismatic species.”
Margaret works in Tintagel’s visitor centre and said: “People come here to go out on the boats and walk along by the sea. There’s been basking sharks, seals and we’ve had reports of hump back whales in the past. It’s just absolutely beautiful and it needs protecting for the people living here – and the tourists who come.
“It’s just absolutely magical and our beaches are so clean and it would be absolutely tragic is the environment was destroyed. It needs protecting and it needs protecting now so it’s really good news.”
The 23 new Marine Conservation Zones are:
Coquet to St Mary’s
Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds
The Swale Estuary
Dover to Deal
Dover to Folkestone
Newquay and The Gannel
Hartland Point to Tintagel
Bideford to Foreland Point
North-West of Jones Bank
Greater Haig Fras
West of Walney