3D map of Lyme Bay launched

A BETTER understanding of the diverse array of marine life and the delicate ecology of Lyme Bay is now available thanks to a new cutting edge 3D map.

The interactive map, available to the public, has been launched by the Marine Conservation Zone project (MCZ).

Finding Sanctuary is one of four regional projects which together make up the MCZ – and covers the East Devon coastline.

Once up and running by 2012 MCZ network will conserve important marine species and habitats and Finding Sanctuary are inviting anyone who uses the sea to identify potential sites for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

All data will be analysed and will inform recommendations for potential MCZs as part of the work being delivered by Finding Sanctuary and the other regional projects.

Tom Hooper, project manager of Finding Sanctuary said: “We’ve been using a regional version of this interactive map in the south-west for just over a year now, and it is fantastic news that it is now being rolled out nationally across all of the MCZ projects.

“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. Together, with information from face-to-face interviews that all four regional MCZ projects have been conducting, it will help to build up a detailed picture of the ecological value and use of our seas.”

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“It is easy to use – you follow a series of simple steps showing you how to upload your information onto the map, or how to just browse and have a look around. It is a window into what exists under the waves, easily accessed easily from a computer, without having to don a wetsuit and mask.”

The interactive map is at www.mczmapping.org and the deadline for uploading data is 30 September 2010.