Following public consultation, Defra has announced the designation of the third tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). All 41 new sites and the addition of new features to 12 existing MCZs proposed during last summer’s consultation are now designated.

This third tranche builds on the 50 MCZs already in place and essentially completes the government’s contribution to the ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas in terms of species and habitat representation. In total, there are now 175 Marine Protected Areas of different types, conserving 40% of English seas and providing vital protection for a diverse array of wildlife.

Duncan Savage, RYA Planning and Environmental Officer, commented: ‘We support the UK and devolved governments’ shared vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas, and we believe the third tranche of MCZ designations will have minimal impact on recreational boating.’

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