In 2000, the international importance of certain features of the marine area was recognised and became designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive. These features include the subtidal sandbanks, reefs, sea caves and Grey seal population. By protecting these features, the habitats and species that are found there are monitored and safeguarded for the future.
As Lundy’s waters had been protected for some time, it was appropriate to place the UK’s first No Take Zone along its east coast. An area of 3.3.km2 is covered by the fisheries byelaw and within this area nothing (particularly plants and animals) can be taken, or added, up to the high water mark along the shoreline.
In 2010, Lundy’s Marine Nature Reserve became the UK’s first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), specifically for the protection of the Spiny lobster, Palinuras elephas, also known as a Crawfish, which is very rare. Under this protection, these lobsters cannot be fished and are protected by Devon and Severn IFCA byelaws as part of the MCZ designation.