New MZCs offer more protection for the Cornish coastline, says Derek Thomas

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has welcomed the news that on World Oceans Day the Government announced plans for new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) off the West Cornwall coastline to protect rare sea life and threatened marine habitats.

Cape Bank, an area to the north west of St Ives, an area south of the Isles of Scilly and the Helford Estuary are three of the 41 proposed new MCZs around the UK coastline in which no new activities deemed damaging – such as dredging, or significant coastal or offshore development – will be allowed to take place.

Existing harmful activities will be minimised or stopped to allow important habitats to be restored over time and rare or threatened marine habitats.

Mr Thomas said: “The coastline around West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is staggeringly beautiful while our seas contain some of the richest and most diverse sea life in the world.

“These new MCZs mark an important step towards the completion of a UK Blue Belt, creating safe havens for our cherished wildlife and putting the UK at the forefront of marine protection.”

The proposal for the new MCZs is now subject to a six-week consultation period and Mr Thomas urged anyone with concerns about the new areas to make their views known as soon as possible.

“According to DEFRA’s research, the three zones proposed around West Cornwall and Scilly should not have a massive impact on existing fishing and marine activity but now is the time to highlight any issues which may have been overlooked,” he added.

To take part in the consultation, visit https: //consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/consultation-on-the-third-tranche-of-marine-conser/