Wyre and Rousay Sounds NCMPA
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.
MPA TypeNature 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 date24 July 2014
Surface Area16.21 km2 (6.26 mi.2)
Perimeter51.81 km (32.19 mi.)
Maerl beds include several species of red seaweed, with hard, chalky skeletons. Maerl is rock hard and grows, unattached to the seabed, in little nodules or branched shapes on the seabed. Each bit is quite small, but they can accumulate in large areas tha
Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment
Kelp and seaweed communities where the parts closest to shore are only exposed to the air by the very lowest tides.
Did you know?…
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’