Medway Estuary MCZ is an inshore site located on the Kent coast. It encompasses the Medway Estuary from Rochester down to its mouth, and extends seaward to include an area between Sheerness and the Isle of Grain. A total area of 60 km2 is protected by this MCZ.
Within the site there is a complex and dynamic ecosystem. The mix of fresh and sea waters combined with tidal movement create changing levels of salinity and nutrients that provide a fertile environment for large populations of animals, particularly invertebrates, fish and birds. Numerous species of commercially important fish including bass, herring, cod, plaice and sole use the area as a nursery ground.
Designated as part of the first tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the UK. In November 2013 the minister announced the designation of 27 MCZs in English inshore and English and Welsh offshore waters and outlined plans for future zones. You can see the location of the 27 designated sites and find out further information about each site at JNCC Interactive Map.
Marine Conservation Zones protect areas that are important to conserve the diversity of nationally rare, threatened and representative habitats and species. Designation of these zones takes social and economic factors into account, alongside the best available scientific evidence.
Management measures will be put in place by the regulators (Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs)) on a site by site basis. Natural England and the JNCCwill advise the regulators about the vulnerability of the features included within the Designation Order and activities that are currently occurring within the site that will have a negative impact on the protected features.
Working with Rochester Oyster and Floating Fishery, Kent and Essex IFCA is leading the way in marine conservation with the creation of the UK’s largest no take zone in the Medway Estuary.
The new Medway Nursery Area No Take Zone byelaw will prohibit any fishing activity in an area of the Medway four times larger than the City of London
Located along the north Kent coast, Medway Estuary encompasses a large area of intertidal habitat. The no-take zone covers 12.1 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) of saltmarsh and mudflat environments that are vitally important to a wide variety of fish. The shallow waters have been identified as a nursery area, as they provide a refuge for fish during their juvenile stages, allowing them to shelter from predators and storms whilst supporting an abundance of prey for them to feed on.
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].