Views wanted on plan to turn IW sites into Utopia

By Martin Neville

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Views wanted on plan to turn IW sites into Utopia

Map of the Marine Conservation Zones.

SIX marine sites off the Island’s coast could be given special protection.

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) restrict fishing and other activity in areas considered to be important marine habits.

A list of 37 sites announced by Defra last week as part of a second tranche of potential designations for 2015, includes areas off The Needles and Bembridge and stretches between Yarmouth and Cowes, and Norris, near East Cowes, and Ryde.

Offshore sites known as Utopia, to the east of the Island, and Offshore Overfalls, to the south east, are also being considered.

The sites were recommended for designation in 2013 but did not make it on to the first set of 27 sites designated last November.

The Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust said designation of the sites would ensure protection for important and nationally rare species like native oysters, seahorses, stalked jellyfish and mantis shrimps and for habitats like seagrass beds and marine reefs.

Designation would not, however, stop sustainable activities from taking place, the trust said.

Tim Ferrero, head of of marine conservation, said: "There are already sites in The Solent, the Solent harbours and around the IW which are protected under European law but these were designated for habitats and species important across the EU region.

"MCZs are designed to protect our nationally important marine diversity and provide an important route to achieving the trust’s vision for Living Seas, where our marine wildlife is protected from the most damaging activities and allowed to recover from past declines."

Public consultation will start in 2015 and for more information visit



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by Colin Russell

10th March 2014, at 16:45:08

Mr Mcadder," Does something have to be seen by humans to make it worth protecting"

If no one is going to see it whats the point of having it, if it was on the land then yes it would be a thing every one could enjoy,its just how the human race is.
Every time there is a storm we have all seen the damage along the coast, what do you think happens below the water,? and these sites are in shallow water some of the big banks have gone ton,s and ton,s of shingle and sand have shifted, the next rough sea will shift it back again,so if you think these sites just sway back and forth in a gentle tide?

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by Mike Crowe

10th March 2014, at 07:58:52

Richard, the 5 foot of sand which has gone from the Culver side of Hearn Groyne at Sandown, has taken it back to how it was in 1947. The sandy beach in front of the Sands Hotel, wasn't there!

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by James McAdder

10th March 2014, at 07:43:40

Colin Russel: "Just how many people will be diving to see this marine life".

Does something have to be seen by humans to make it worth protecting?

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by Richard Broadhead

10th March 2014, at 00:23:28

What should be put in place is NO MORE DREDGING aground the island to start with other than I expect when Southampton water is dredged they will dump it in the hole that has already been created. Although there probably is no hole now because about five foot of sand has gone from Shanklin beach but the experts say the DREDGING doesn't cause this.

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by Colin Russell

9th March 2014, at 19:18:35

Has any body from the wildlife trust dive some of the areas? , and what about Yarmouth cowes Ryde Bembridge Harbours, they need dredgeing this is an Island of boat owners, that go out fishing, sailing, Its the boats that lay nets down and the dredgers after cockles oysters, mussel, that rake the sea bed, and when the Authorities have been told of illedal fishing nothing gets done, because of cut backs,
Just how many people will be diving to see this marine life

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by steve paul taylor

9th March 2014, at 19:18:01

I saw this map about a month ago here and it didn't include West Wight

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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