No-go areas to protect skate and seahorses

A call to set up more than 70 new marine

nature reserves by 2012, has been made by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS)

and The Co-operative Group. They say the areas are needed around the UK to

protect endangered fish, coral and other wildlife. Six years of surveying work

carried out by divers has produced recommended areas which would increase the

amount of UK seas protected in marine reserves from just 6km square to 212km

square.

 In UK seas there are 22 species of wildlife considered to be

facing the threat of global extinction. Once common species such as common

skate and Atlantic halibut are now listed as endangered, and only eight of the

47 fish stocks found around the British Isles remain in a healthy state.

Under the new Marine and Coastal Access

Act, the Government will have a ‘duty’ to designate marine conservation zones

(MCZs), where commercial fishing and dredging, will be banned.