East Caithness Cliffs

Site overview: This area is home to many seabirds including 1,500 breeding black guillemots who live on the crevices and ledges of the sea cliffs between Wick and Helmsdale. This is a really important area for them, proving a rich source of food. There is also a Special Protection Area here to protect the cliffs which these seabirds call home.
At risk: This site needs to be properly managed to ensure that different types of fishing nets, such as set nets, are not used here. This is because these nets are thought to kill seabirds accidentally as a result of bycatch.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area
MPA Purpose
This complements the MPA power introduced through the Marine and Coastal Access Act for offshore waters around Scotland. The Act also allows the Scottish Ministers to designate MPAs for demonstration and research and for historic/cultural conservation.


58° 16' 0" North,
3° 18' 47" West

Surface Area

114.27 km2
(44.12 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site