Papa Westray NCMPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

Each year more than 500 breeding black guillemots forage in the shallow coastal waters here, around the islands of Papa Westray and the Holm of Papa Westray.

MPA Type

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (NCMPAs) are designated under UK legislation (Marine Scotland Act 2010) and have been established around Scotland to contribute to the UK MPA network by protecting a range of important habitats, species and features of the seabed.

Designation date

24 July 2014

Surface Area

33.31 km2 (12.86 mi.2)

Perimeter

43.20 km (26.84 mi.)

  • Black guillemot (Cepphus grylle)

    In summer an unmistakable black and white bird with bright red feet. In the winter it dulls to more subtle shades of grey and white. Black guillemots are usually found in ones and twos, scattered around rocky islets.

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Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed

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