MP BOB Seely has welcomed government proposals to make two coastal areas off the Isle of Wight Marine Conservation Zones.

A 75km square site at Bembridge and a 16km stretch from Yarmouth to Cowes are part of plans, drawn up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to set up 41 ‘blue belt’ sites in a third tranche of zones.

There will now be a six-week consultation on the idea with a decision within 12 months.

Mr Seely said: “I’m pleased these two areas have made the list, especially on World Oceans Day. It’s vital we protect our maritime environment here on the Isle of Wight and across the country and Marine Conservation Zones very much do this.

“I understand these plans could present challenges for the marine and fishing industries on the Island so I urge them and everyone else to get involved in the consultation to make their views known.

“My own view is this is an opportunity to protect our seas for future generations and an MCZ designation will do much to attract visitors and add to the Island’s quality of life.”

The consultation is open until July 20. Information about the proposals and various ways to take part in the consultation are at this link. Document.pdf-1