Marine Conservation Zones in N Devon Announced........

Practical marine conservation takes a stride forward with today’s announcement from DEFRA for the second round of MCZ designations includes two sites in North Devon - Bideford to Foreland Point, a coastal strip covering North Devon’s best known beaches, from Westward HO! to Combe Martin, and Hartland to Tintagel.

These areas were put forward by a partnership of local organisations under  the auspices of North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve and represent a consesus between the local fishing industry, conservation agencies and community groups such as Coastwise North Devon.

Paula Ferris Coastwise chair says “Members have first hand experience of the wonderful marine life on our beaches which is why MCZ status is so important to us.  We have seen the advantages for Lundy, the UK’s first marine reserve, and the benefit to fish stocks, so we are delighted at this announcement, and for us the timing is spot on.”

Marine Protected Areas are on the agenda for Coastwise’s next weekly meeting, 21 January, and speaker Natural England’s Robert Enever will be well placed to discuss what comes next.

Paula Ferris says “The Coastwise mission is to help people know more about our marine heritage and encourage us all to look after it.  The announcement is particularly timely as we are in the throes of planning contributions to exciting new initiatives in this direction.  This includes work with North Devon’s AONB on bringing marine appreciation to a wider audience.  We hope the MCZ designation will help, with an emphasis on empowerment rather than restriction.”

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