Flamborough Head NTZ is one of only a handful of fully-protected sites in the country and the only one in the North Sea
The No Take Zone was established in 2010 as a way to monitor changes in species and habitats on the south side of Flamborough Head, without any human interference. Working with local fishers, this small area of intertidal and sub-tidal rocky shore, sandy seabed and boulders, is part of a suite of sites which provide protection to Flamborough’s unique geology and wildlife.
The North Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA) uphold the site’s protection and work with partners to monitor any changes in the extent and distribution of key species, such as edible crabs, lobsters and mussels.No Take Zone Designation Byelaw
Research in the No Take Zone
The only No Take Zone to include both intertidal and subtidal habitats, a range of organisations carry out research within the site to understand more about any changes to the area. Significant changes in the marine environment can take many years, so it is important to gather long-term datasets and analyse the results alongside changes in the wider environment.
Over a number of years, the size and quantity of lobsters and crabs both within and outside of the No Take Zone were monitored. This data provided a snapshot of information about important commercial species in the area.
Longer-term monitoring will be needed to identify any definite changes in the size or number of lobsters and crabs as a result of the designation.
The more sheltered southern side of Flamborough Head has a diverse mix of intertidal sandy sediment and chalk reef, providing habitat for a range of shore species.
Since designation, both NEIFCA and York University have carried out regular monitoring of mussel populations, extent and distribution. The university has also regularly surveys other intertidal species, to monitor any changes.
Alongside York University and NEIFCA, the University of Hull, Natural England, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Seasearch have also collected data within the NTZ. Research projects range from species and habitat surveys to assessing public knowledge and of the area.
The NTZ remains an important site to monitor changes in our marine environment and is likely to be the subject of further research in the future.
Linked projects and further information…