Wildlife charity welcomes new marine protection

Tompot blenny. Picture by Paul Naylor.
Tompot blenny. Picture by Paul Naylor.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust has welcomed the the Government’s confirmation of the immediate designation of 27 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ).

The Trust lauded it as a first step towards the creation of a network so absolutely vital to ensure the healthy future of our seas.

Three of the 27 MCZs are off the Northumberland coast – Aln Estuary, Rock Unique and Swallow Sands.

These are three of the sites proposed following the Netgain process in which Northumberland Wildlife Trust took a very active part and the Government has also confirmed consultation on further sites, which include Coquet to St. Mary’s Island.

Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “What great news for the wildlife living in the North Sea and elsewhere in the UK.

“I really welcome the designation of the 27 Marine Conservation Zones. This is the first active step in what I believe to be the most important action Government can take to address the shocking state of nature at sea.

“Marine protection is an issue which matters to anyone who has ever spent happy afternoons exploring rockpools or been enchanted by chance encounters with dolphins, whales or one of the many other captivating species we enjoy in our waters.

“There is huge public support for greater protection of our seas using Marine Protected Areas. They are one of the best tools to protect marine wildlife effectively and restore our seas to their full potential, following decades of neglect and decline.

“It is vital for the appropriate management of the 27 designated sites to be implemented as soon as possible and I look forward to working with Government to ensure this happens.”