Swanage and Bournemouth bays also considered for Marine Conservation Zone

Studland Bay, Swanage Bay, Bournemouth Bay and part of Poole Harbour are in line to become a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).

Finding Sanctuary, one of four nationwide bodies that recommends areas to become MCZs, has put forward the area in Dorset and it will remain under discussion until a final decision is made by ministers in June 2011.

In particular, Studland Bay (pictured above) is a very popular anchorage and currently contains a no-anchoring zone to protect the local seahorses that has caused much consternation among sailors.

It is possible that anchoring could be banned if the area became an MCZ.

But Finding Sanctuary’s Joana Smith said: ‘It is important to point out that the recommended protection levels for this building block have not

yet been developed.

‘Once they are developed, we would have a better idea of which activities might need to be restricted within the area.

‘Of course, the protection levels suggested would have to offer adequate protection to the species or habitat that the MCZ is suggested for.’

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