Special Areas of Conservation (Habitats Directive)
United Kingdom: GB-ENG
From Marine Reserves Coalition:
Britain’s third No-Take Zone and the North Sea’s first, was designated in 2010 on the southern side of the Flamborough Headland in Yorkshire. This followed the designation of the waters around the Flamborough Head as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in 2005, under the European Habitats Directive. The SAC was established to protect the regionally rare intertidal and subtidal chalk reefs, sea caves and sea cliff vegetation (1) and is one of 107 marine SACs around the UK.
While the 64 km2 SAC provides protection for a few specific species and habitats in the area, the small No-Take Zone, which was designated following agreement from the sea fisheries committee, provides full protection for all the marine life within its boundaries.The No-Take Zone covers 1 km2, of which 20% is intertidal, extending 700m out to sea (2). This protection not only prevents the removal of species from the water, but also prohibits the removal of any shellfish products from the shoreline, alive or dead. The area is currently undergoing a probation stage that will last for five years, during which time extensive monitoring will be carried out to determine the effects.
After only two years, the sea bed, coral and marine-life within the No-Take Zone are making a comeback (3). Fisheries officer, David McCandless from the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority reported that already fishermen are seeing an increase in the size of lobsters, as well as an increase in the mussel populations (3).