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Scarborough Sea Life Centre Calls For Help To Protect Local Waters

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Marine experts at Scarborough Sea Life Centre are urging visitors and local residents to get behind efforts to protect two special North Sea habitats to the north and south of the resort.

They are two of 23 sites the Government is considering adding to 27 special Marine Conservation Zones endorsed last year.

Scarborough Sea Life's Lyndsey Crawford explains more saying:

"Wildlife charities and other NGOs led by the Marine Conservation Society have been trying to get 127 sites in the seas around England and Wales afforded protected status."

"Our partner charity The Sea Life Trust has been a keen ally and while everyone was disappointed that so few MCZs were approved in the first tranche, and only 23 are being considered this year they do include two that are of special significance to us here in the North East."

"One – the Holderness Inshore zone - is a three mile long stretch extending north from the Humber Estuary, covering 307 square kilometres and featuring a range of habitats important for a wide variety of species. The other is a 68 square kilometre zone stretching three miles out to sea and straddling Runswick Bay."

"The Holderness zone hosts diverse species from algae, sponges and  crustaceans to fish like dab and wrasse. It's an important feeding ground for our native grey and common seals, two animals we at the Sanctuary have a special affinity for after years of rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured pups."

The seabed across the Runswick Bay site has both rock and sediment features and an intertidal area with rocky reefs, boulders, pools, sandy beaches and caves.

No fewer than eight species of crab thrive in the offshore waters, which are also spawning grounds for many fish including herring, sprat, cod, whiting and plaice.

Lyndsey added:

"Protection for these zones will mean commercial activities are controlled to minimise their impact, but fishermen who operate in these waters won't be affected at all. Dredging and dredge disposal are the chief problems for these sites."

"Without that protection these critical habitats are at risk of irreparable damage and the creatures that rely on them being killed off or forced to move elsewhere. We have until April 24th to convince the Government they should be approved as MCZs, so we want as many people as possible to get behind the campaign supporting their inclusion."

Sea Life is urging anyone who wishes to support the bid to get these two sites protected to sign a petition on the Marine Conservation Society website http://www.mcsuk.org/mpa/consultation

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Calls For Help To Protect Local Waters Reviewed by Editor on 21:33:00 Rating: 5

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