Have your say on protecting coastline around St Mary’s Island

St Mary's Island'Picture by Jane Coltman
St Mary's Island'Picture by Jane Coltman

A consultation process has started on giving more protection to marine life off the north east coast.

Three sites off the region’s coast, including from Berwick to Whitley Bay, are among 41 designated zones that could get a special protected status by 2019.

But officials at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) say it will only happen if the public gets behind them.

A third and final round of proposed Marine Conservation Zone designations are currently the subject of a public consultation, but the deadline for responses is July 20.

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, MCS principal specialist, marine protected areas, said: “The public has less than a month to take part in a consultation that could mean more protection for English waters.

“While marine protection isn’t as simple to understand as the damage plastic is doing to our oceans, it’s equally as important.

“These sites are home to some of our most familiar and also threatened marine wildlife, from oysters to dolphins, and need your support.”

Coquet to St Mary’s has already been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone to protect a range of seabed habitats and associated wildlife communities.

The eider duck, with its famous plumage, is the UK’s heaviest and fastest flying duck and is a protected species under UK law, with the Farne Islands and Coquet Islands breeding sites.

MCS is urging the public to get behind the consultation by visiting www.mcsuk.org/help-protect-english-seas