Marine protected areas in the Irish Sea include many designations which together should make up a coherent ecological network. The Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are the last piece in the network which the Wildlife Trusts are working hard to get maximum benefits for habitats and species.
- England and offshore Wales (discussed in our north-west England pages)
- Isle of Man
- Northern Ireland
Types of Marine Protected Area in the UK
- Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
- Special Protected Area (SPA)
(together SACs and SPAs with marine components are known as European Marine Sites)
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- RAMSAR sites
And the new kids on the block – Marine Conservation Zones
Why Do We Need Marine Protected Areas?
The Irish Sea has the potential to be amongst the most productive and wildlife rich on earth. Hidden beneath the surface are landscapes every bit as varied at those we see on land, with undersea cliffs, caves, valleys and mountains which are home to thousands of plants and animals from tiny anemones to the majestic basking shark.
For centuries our sea’s riches have been taken for granted. Fragile habitats have been destroyed. Pollution, inappropriate fishing gear and the effects of climate change have had major detrimental impacts on our marine environment.
- Basking shark numbers have dropped by 95%
- The common skate is not so common in fact it’s on the brink of extinction!
- Corals, seahorses, dolphins and seals have all been adversely affected.
Help us make the Irish Sea becoming a Living Sea once again!
Sign Petition Fish today!