Clyde Sea Sill NCMPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

This area stretches from the Mull of Kintyre to Corsewall Point on the Rhins of Galloway, where cooler waters mix with warmer waters. Here, nutrients and plankton create feeding hotspots for fish and whales and dolphins. As a result this is an important area for fish stocks, with existing fisheries management measures in place here for spawning cod. In the north-west of the MPA a colony of breeding black guillemots relies on the rich feeding grounds around Sanda, Sheep Island and Glunimore Island.

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

711.86 km2 (274.85 mi.2)


148.91 km (92.53 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.

  • Circalittoral and offshore sand and coarse sediment communities
  • Front

    Where waters with different qualities, for example different levels of saltiness, meet. Fronts can concentrate nutrients and plankton creating feeding hotspots for sh which in turn attract other higher marine predators.

  • Sand banks, sand ribbon fields, sand wave fields

    Features formed by the action of tides and currents.

Did you know?…

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

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