Red Bay is among a group of sites which have been proposed as Marine Conservation Zones.
If designated, the MCZ would protect vulnerable beds of seagrass, a fragile plant which flowers and produces fruit and seeds. Seagrass meadows provide a home and nursery grounds for marine wildlife such as larval fish, crustaceans and marine invertebrates.
The DOE has also announced plans for new marine protection to safeguard the harbour porpoise, vulnerable sea birds and important marine habitats.
Additionally, there are plans for new Special Protection Areas (SPAs) around the coast to protect sea birds of European importance such as Manx shearwaters, red-throated divers and terns. These new areas will form part of a wider network of Marine Protected Areas. The Maidens are being considered for MCZ designation in the future.