Pagham Harbour MCZ lies between Bognor Regis and Chichester in West Sussex. This naturally occurring harbour is a tidal inlet which is fronted by two dynamic shingle spits. The MCZ protects features within the harbour area, Ferry Pool lagoon and Church Norton spit covering a total area of nearly 3 km2 – making it one of the smallest MCZs.
Pagham Harbour is renowned for its rich wildlife and as such the area is already protected by several designations including Pagham Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. The MCZ builds upon this by offering protection to features not already covered by the existing designations. Church Norton spit runs parallel to the mouth of the harbour, creating a sheltered environment that is capable of supporting a different range of species than are found on the open coast.
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.