The Biosphere Partnership has welcomed yesterday’s (21 November) announcement by the Government of the designation of the Beachy Head West Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). It was one of just 27 zones designated in the whole of England. The western block of this MCZ, which extends from Brighton Marina to Newhaven Harbour, lies within the proposed Biosphere Reserve. It has been slightly modified since it was first proposed, but is predominantly the same. the main difference is that the operational port area at Newhaven has been excluded. The new Beachy Head West MCZ provides for the first time a legal framework for nature conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment. It brings together the different fishing, recreational and conservation interests to maintain the underwater chalk reef habitats which are important for eels and seahorses. The eels are currently listed as critically endangered, while the two species of seahorse are of conservation importance. The Biosphere partner organisations of Natural England, Sussex IFCA and others will be involved in taking forward the conservation objectives of this zone. Chris Todd, chair of the Biosphere Partnership said: “The designation of the Beachy Head West Marine Conservation Zone is a welcome step forward in properly looking after the wildlife in our seas. The western block of this zone lies entirely within the proposed Biosphere and forms an important part of our bid. We will now be informing UNESCO of this good news and up-dating our bid documents."