This is a static version of the conservation advice for this site, generated on 16/09/2019.
Please check the latest advice for this site at https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/
Natural England Conservation Advice for Marine Protected Areas
Isles of Scilly: Bishop to Crim MCZ

Natural England guidance

This site collection contains Natural England’s conservation advice for this site. It fulfils Natural England’s responsibility under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, to give advice on how to further the conservation objectives for the site, identify the activities that are capable of affecting the designated features and the processes which they are dependent upon.

Natural England's conservation advice for this site is made up of a number of components. You will need to consider: Additional information for consideration:

Site information

Overarching site: Isles of Scilly MCZs
Site name: Isles of Scilly: Bishop to Crim MCZ
Designation type: MCZ
Site identification: MCZ0008-01
Latest designation date: 12 December 2013
Designated features
(click to see site specific description):

Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)

Spiny lobster is a designated feature in 9 of the 11 Isles of Scilly MCZ sites, all with a ‘recover' to favourable condition status. A UK Priority Species for conservation, spiny lobster populations have seen national declines. This has been associated with the introduction of new fishing methods in the 1960’s (Goñi and Latrouite, 2005).

Adult spiny lobster inhabit complex rock and mixed sediment habitats in the Isles of Scilly, between depths of 20m and 90m, often in more exposed habitats (Holt and Kielly-Fletcher, 2016). Habitat use by juvenile spiny lobster is thought to differ from adults, but is poorly understood at present. Spiny lobster are mainly active during the night and are opportunistic feeders, eating a variety of molluscs, echinoderms and crustaceans. In the Atlantic they migrate onshore in spring before the reproductive season, moving offshore again by late autumn. Mating takes place in June-October, with females incubating carried eggs for 6-10 months until hatching occurs across March-June (Goñi and Latrouite, 2005).


General information on the site features:
The general information on the designated features from the MCZ features catalogue is useful for understanding the designated features, and should be used in conjunction with the site specific information.
Designated area (ha): 770
Overlapping Protected Areas:

Last updated: 13th September 2019

Background information and geography

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago situated approximately 28 miles off the south west coast of Cornwall, renowned for their pristine marine environment and diverse fauna. There are 11 MCZs in the Isles of Scilly, covering an area of approximately 30km2 in total.

Bishop to Crim MCZ is situated to the south west of the main archipelago, in deeper water. The MCZ encompasses an area from south of Bishop Rock lighthouse, to just north of Crim rocks, a small reef of rocky islands. Bishop to Crim includes a protected wreck exclusion zone at Tearing Ledge and provides important habitat for the spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas), a UK Priority Species for conservation. The site also has fragile sponge and anthozoan species on its rocky reefs, including the pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa), another UK Priority species (Lieberknecht et al., 2011).

Bishop to Crim MCZ overlaps with the Isles of Scilly Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The SAC is designated to protect the archipelago's intertidal mudflats and sandflats, sandbanks, rocky reefs, shore dock (Rumex rupestris) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). The MCZ adds to this by protecting spiny lobster.

Site maps

Use the MAGIC website to see site maps, including habitats, species and other marine designations.

These maps are based on best available evidence, there are some caveats associated with the maps on MAGIC.

The dynamic nature of habitat features and supporting habitats for mobile species is illustrated where data is available, as new evidence becomes available these maps will be updated with our current knowledge of their known extent.



Conservation objectives

The site’s conservation objectives apply to the Marine Conservation Zone and the species for which the site has been designated.

The conservation objective of each of the zones is that protected features:

  1. Are maintained in favourable condition if they are already in favourable condition
  2. Be brought into favourable condition if they are not already in favourable condition

For each species of marine fauna, favourable condition means that a population within a zone is supported in numbers which enable it to thrive, by maintaining:

  1. The quality and quantity of its habitat
  2. The number, age and sex ratio of its population

Any temporary reduction in number of a species is to be disregarded if the population is sufficiently thriving and resilient to enable its recovery.

Any alteration to a feature brought about entirely by natural processes is to be disregarded when determining whether a protected feature is in favourable condition.

This should be read in conjunction with the accompanying supplementary advice section, which provides more detailed advice and information to help achieve the objectives; set out above.

Designated features:

  • Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)


Supplementary Advice on Conservation Objectives

See supplementary advice on conservation objectives for this site, which aim to describe the range of ecological attributes that are most likely to contribute to a site’s overall integrity.

Last updated: 15th September 2017


Advice on Operations

See the advice on operations for this site to view information on the sensitivity of features in this site to the pressures exerted by different activities.

Last updated: 13th September 2019


Advice on Seasonality

See the advice on seasonality for this site, to view the months in which each mobile feature occurs in this site.

Last updated: 20th March 2017


Feature Condition

In 2016, Natural England trialled and rolled out a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) condition assessment methodology that provides robust results and information on the condition of marine features designated within MPAs in England. With guidance from National teams and using all available evidence and condition monitoring data, Area Teams conduct these assessments following a standardised approach that assesses if the feature and sub feature conservation targets set for each MPA have been met.

To date, condition assessments have been completed for a number of features in a range of marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) by the National and Area Teams. Further marine habitat features in SACs and other MPAs will continue to be assessed in the future. The new method can now also be applied to complete habitat and species condition assessments for other MPAs in England, whilst still meeting the different processes in place to report on the results of condition of features in Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Different processes are currently in place to decide and report on the condition of non-marine habitat and species features of SACs.

The main part of the assessment process is directly undertaken and stored here on Natural England’s Designated Sites View. The details for the most recent assessments of this site can be found here.

Management measures

If you are carrying out an environmental assessment, planning an operation or assessing an operation or proposal, it is important to consult with the following organisations where applicable. To find out if any management measures, byelaws or other restrictions apply to your activity see the management measure page or you can use the following links for more information.

The Marine Management Organisation license, regulate and plan marine activities in the seas around England and Wales so that they’re carried out in a sustainable way.
Environment Agency are responsible for regulating major industry and waste, water quality and resources, fisheries, inland river, estuary and harbour navigations, conservation and ecology.
Offshore Petroleum Regulator for the Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) regulates oil and gas, CCS and gas storage activities in the marine environment.

Further information

For further information relating to this designated site you can refer to the following resources:
Site specific information: Other information:
For further information about this site contact: Natural England enquiries Telephone: 0300 060 3900. Email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk




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