Lundy becomes first marine conservation zone
THE waters around Lundy Island have today (Tuesday) become England s first Marine Conservation Zone. This is a direct result of last year s Marine & Coastal Access Act which aims to protect England
THE waters around Lundy Island have today (Tuesday) become England's first Marine Conservation Zone. This is a direct result of last year's Marine & Coastal Access Act which aims to protect England's most important marine habitats and species.
Janette Ward, Natural England's Regional Director in the South West, welcomed the announcement: "We are very pleased to have Lundy, one of the jewels of our natural environment in the South West, announced as the location of England's first Marine Conservation Zone.
"Lundy, already a showcase of a well protected marine environment, now represents the first step in delivering a new approach to marine protection. It is wonderful that we can boast a site in the South West as a pioneer for marine conservation in English waters."
Lundy's new status establishes it as the cornerstone of a new network of Marine Protected Areas that the Government aims to have in place around our coasts by 2012.
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Keith Hiscock, Chairman of the Lundy Marine Nature Reserve Advisory Group confirmed Lundy's importance for marine conservation has long been recognised: "The designation of the area around Lundy as a Marine Conservation Zone is another first for the island. In 1986 it was designated as England's first, and so far only, statutory Marine Nature Reserve." Subsequently the waters off Lundy's east coast became the UK's first No Take Zone, an area where the marine environment is being protected in order to allow it to return to its natural state.
During the next two years, more Marine Conservation Zones will be identified and designated in the South West through the Finding Sanctuary project. Representatives from a broad range of interested parties are being asked to recommend new sites as Marine Conservation Zones and specify the management necessary to achieve the conservation aspirations for these sites.
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