Wyre and Rousay Sounds

Site overview: This site was designated to protect maerl beds and the kelp and seaweed communities found here. These types of habitat act as a refuge for juvenile fish and a safe feeding ground for larger marine animals.
At risk: The use of bottom towed gear throughout this site should be limited because maerl beds are easily damaged or even destroyed when fishing in this way, and they can take up to 10 years to even start to recover.

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.


59° 8' 30" North,
2° 57' 51" West

Surface Area

16.21 km2
(6.26 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site