An exotic underwater world of seahorses, sharks and corals that surrounds the coast of Britain is to be given greater protection under new legislation coming into force this week.
The long-awaited Marine Act will allow conservation groups to map sites of nature preservation for the first time. Future legislation to be enforced in these marine conservation zones will see an end to damaging practices such as scallop dredging and trawler fishing.
Currently there is only one small piece of coastline in Britain that is heavily protected – the sea around Lundy Island, off Devon. As a result, species such as spiny sea-horses, found in Studland Bay in Dorset, and basking sharks, seen in Britain’s coastal waters in the summer, have been under serious threat.