The government is consulting on 41 sites around the English coast as potential Marine Conservations Zones (MCZs) for the public to comment on. This includes local areas of our coastline around Bembridge and from Yarmouth to Cowes.
Becoming Marine Conservation Zones could add important protection for some of our precious and productive local marine habitats and species like seahorses and stalked jellyfish, and they’d join the three already designated in our local waters.
Tim Ferrero, from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “This is a unique moment for all of us to make sure the government understands how much we value our marine wildlife and want to see it protected. Precious underwater seagrass meadows, and wildlife like cuttlefish, seahorses and juvenile sea bass that call them home, need our help.
“We’re encouraged by the government’s plans, but feel they could be even bolder by reconsidering some of the proposals that were watered down or dropped. Locally two of the four areas that were originally being considered – the Norris to Ryde coastline and Fareham Creek – have now been left out of the consultation. Giving these areas protections too would fill in some important gaps in the vital network of underwater habitats, and truly maintain our reputation as global leaders in marine conservation.
“We’re calling on the public to make their voices heard by supporting the designation of all Marine Conservation Zones being proposed, but also asking the government to go further and reconsider the missing pieces and ensure that the Solent gets the protection it deserves.”
Supporters can add their voices to those calling for these new protections by visiting: www.hiwwt.org.uk/MCZs.