All 23 sites in the second tranche of MCZs have been designated, but the RYA is claiming that this will have minimal impact on recreational boating

The second tranche of MCZs has been confirmed, with the Government opting to designate all 23 recommended sites.

More than 9,000 responses to the public consultation were considered before the announcement, which will see 4,155 square miles protected.

However, the Royal Yachting Association has claimed a victory for recreational boating with assurances that MCZ status will not affect the rights of navigation.

Emma Barton, planning and environmental manager, said: We are pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of recreational boating and the knock-on effect that [MCZ] designation could have on businesses that rely on these activities.”

Areas covered by the second tranche of MCZs include the Needles (pictured above), the Swale Estuary and Mounts Bay.

The Government confirmed that no anchoring restrictions will be placed on the Swale Estuary, while the designation of Mounts Bay is not expected to affect recreational boating either.

And although there may need to be some management of anchoring and mooring off the Needles, this is likely to be “minimal”.

The third and final tranche of MCZs is now set to be proposed next year, ahead of the completion of the scheme in 2018.

Marine Environment Minister George Eustice added: “By designating these new Marine Conservation Zones and creating a Blue Belt of protected areas around the country, we can better protect our environment through careful marine management in years to come.”