DEFRA announces dozens of new Marine Conservation Zones

DEFRA has today announced the designation of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), with rare stalked jellyfish, short-snouted seahorse and blue mussel beds among the species and habitats that will benefit from the new protections.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said the announcement fulfilled the government’s manifesto commitment to create a “blue belt” of marine protection for Britain’s overseas territories and its own coast. The new designations complete the third of three planned phases of MCZ designations.

Stretching from Cornwall to Northumberland, the new protections are aimed at safeguarding 12,000 square kilometres (km2) of marine habitat.

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