Aquarists from Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium are campaigning to have Newquay and the Gannel Estuary declared a Marine Conservation Zone.
The aquarists have joined forces with local volunteers as part of the Newquay Marine Group to collect data to support the proposal to protect the area’s rich marine life.
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a type of Marine Protected Area.
They protect areas that are important to conserving the diversity of nationally rare or threatened habitats and/or species and those places containing habitats and/or species that are representative of the biodiversity in our seas.
Last year 27 Marine Conservation Zones, covering a total area of close to 10,000 sq km, were created.
Newquay and the Gannel is one of 37 potential new Marine Conservation Zones which have been identified and will be considered as potential candidates for consultation in 2015.
Working as members of the Newquay Marine Group, Blue Reef aquarist Kyle Wingfield has been conducting shore surveys to gather vital statistics on important species such as giant gobies and European eels.
Fellow aquarists Jenny Youngs and Lara Mingay will be conducting Seasearch snorkelling surveys along with fellow Newquay Marine Group members Chris and Annabelle Lowe of Atlantic Diving and Displays Supervisor Lara Mingay will be taking part in Seasearch diving provided by Dive Newquay.
“Everyone here at the aquarium is passionate about our local marine environment and doing whatever we can to protect it for future generations to enjoy and discover,” said Kyle.
“With the help of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England we hope to collect enough vital data to support the proposal.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to promote our rich local marine life and our local fisheries,” he added.
• Anyone interested in finding out more can contact the Newquay Marine Group on Facebook.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Sophia Medine on 01637 878134.