The designation of Marine Conservation Zones through the Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 will add to our Marine Protected Area (MPA) network in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region.
The MCZs are proposed for Carlingford Lough, Outer Belfast Lough, Rathlin and Waterfoot. MCZs are areas of sea where we protect rare or important national features from damaging activity.
The proposed features are Deep-sea bed, Subtidal (sublittoral) seagrass beds, Subtidal (sublittoral) sand, Subtidal (sublittoral) mud with Sea-pen and white sea slug communities, Ocean quahog, Black guillemot and Geological/Geomorphological features such as Sea arches and Paleolagoons.
The Department is seeking views on the MCZ proposals. All comments are welcome but must be received by the closing date stated.
You can download the details of each proposed MCZ at the provided links.
Guidance on how MCZs are selected and designated can be found in the publications section of this website by using the below link: