Squat Lobster in Isle of ManRamsey Bay has been designated as the Isle of Man‘s first Marine Nature Reserve.

The area will be protected from damaging activities, fisheries will be safeguarded and it is hoped it will become a centre for diving and research.

The designation of Ramsey Bay by the Manx Government has been the result of consulations since 2008. It is a prime example of what can be achieved in protecting marine environments. It is the first step towards the goal of a well managed ecologically coherent network covering all UK and Manx waters by 2012. Minister John Shimmin said the news was “an exciting step forward for the Isle of Man”.

Marine developments within the area will now require approval from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) and an Environmental Impact Assessment.

John Edwards, head of Living Seas for the Wildlife Trusts, said, “The Ramsey Bay designation is an encouraging sign. It’s now important that Government appoints further Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). ”

In August scientists carried out surveys of Ramsey Bay using special seabed mapping equipment and a camera on an underwater sledge.

The surveys revealed a diverse and complex underwater landscape with lush eelgrass meadows and bright pink maerl beds.

Further Reading:
The Wildlife Trusts