Swallow Sand MCZ is an offshore site in the North Sea, located approximately 100 km from the Northumberland coast in the North East of England. It protects an area of about 4,746 km², making it the largest MCZ.
Swallow Sand MCZ covers one of the deepest areas in the North Sea with depths ranging from 50 to 150 metres. The site protects a large area of seabed made up of sands and coarser sediments such as gravels. The site also protects Swallow Hole, a feature of geological interest.
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.
Contacts & Resources
UK Science Advisory Panel - Marine Conservation Zone
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].