Poole Rocks MCZ is an inshore site covering an area of around 4 km2 and is one of the smaller MCZs. It lies to the east of the entrance to Poole Harbour and approximately 2 – 2 ½ km to the east of the beachfront at Sandbanks. The site protects an area of rocky outcrops within the sediment-dominated Poole Bay.
Whilst the Poole Rocks MCZ is primarily comprised of silty sand and gravel, the area also contains rocky outcrops which form patch reefs. This type of habitat is often associated with having high species diversity. Both the sediment and rocky habitats also support a variety of commercially important fish species which in turn are an important food source for seabirds.
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.