UK: Public having say in which areas should become MPAs off North Devon coast

VISITORS to Ilfracombe Aquarium are being urged to have their say on which coastal areas around North Devon they would like to see become part of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA).

The Ilfracombe Aquarium is one of a number of aquariums across the UK that have signed up to the "Your Seas Your Voice" campaign, organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), to identify sites where rare and threatened marine species and habitats are in need of protection.

The first protected areas, known as Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ), are expected to be announced in 2012.

Lawrence Raybone, who runs Ilfracombe Aquarium, said the votes for local areas are already flooding in.

"Our nearest MCS recommended site is known as Bawden Rocks, north of St Agnes Head in Cornwall. That has so far received over 100 votes. As visitors to the aquarium increase over the next few months we expect this number to rise alongside other suggestions of local sites," he said.

full story