A new interactive map has been launched which boaters can use to influence shape and size of MCZs

Boaters have a new way of influencing the shape and size of future Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) by entering details of their boating activity on an interactive map.

The regional bodies which will ultimately decide the placement of the MCZs – Balanced Seas, Finding Sanctuary, Irish Sea Conservation Zones and Net Gain – say any information inputted will be used to inform their decisions.

By 2012, the government hopes to have a network of these MCZs in place across England and Wales in order to “conserve nationally important marine species and habitats”.

Since the conservationist lobby is likely to be very vocal in the establishment of the MCZs, it’s vitally important that anyone who uses the sea for recreation has their say, otherwise we might find activities such as anchoring or travelling at speed are restricted in some of the country’s best boating areas.

Tom Hooper, project manager for Finding Sanctuary, said: “All of us involved with the MCZ project want to ensure that these important decisions are based on the best data; not just from marine industries, but from individuals who use the sea.”