Allonby Bay MCZ

Allonby Bay MCZ was designated in January 2016. The site is an inshore site covering an area of approximately 40km2. It is located on the English side of the Solway Firth stretching around 9km from Dubmill Point in the north to just north of Maryport in the south.

Designated Features: blue mussel beds; high energy intertidal rock; honeycomb worm reefs; intertidal biogenic reefs; intertidal coarse sediment; intertidal sand and muddy sand; low energy intertidal rock; moderate energy infralittoral rock; moderate energy intertidal rock; peat and clay exposures; subtidal biogenic reefs; subtidal coarse sediment; subtidal mixed sediments; subtidal sand.

NE Site view – Designated Sites View (

NEs Advice – Marine site detail (

Defra factsheet – Allonby Bay Marine Conservation Zone factsheet (

Magic map – Magic Map Application (

Management: The Allonby Bay MCZ covers a wider area of Sabbellaria alveolata reefs that was not covered by the original EMS. To ensure this additional area was protected from bottom towed fishing activities, NWIFCA extended the closed area to cover the full extent of the MCZ under Byelaw 6.

Byelaw 6 was implemented on the 1st May 2014 and prohibits the use bottom towed gear and limits the vessel length in the area. Bottom towed fishing means fishing using gear which is pushed or pulled through the sea and contacts the seabed. This includes use of demersal otter and beam trawls, shellfish dredges and demersal seines. This type of fishing is considered the most damaging to Sabellaria reef features. This byelaw is also intended to ensure that bait digging and other hand worked fisheries on seagrass is prohibited. The byelaw provides the necessary legal powers to prevent damage to these features,  and reduce the possibility of deterioration. The management in the area is enforced by NWIFCA and partner bodies and is important to maintain a healthy marine environment.

Byelaw 6 – NWIFCA-Byelaw-6.pdf (