Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh NCMPA
Norway lobsters call this area home as do seapens, also firework anemones have been recorded in large numbers. This site also contains the most significant population of flame shells recorded in Scotland (and possibly the world), and is the only known loch where wild fan mussels have been recorded.
There is also a Special Area of Conservation here, a type of Marine Protected Area, which protects the reefs found in this site.
At risk It is important that fishing pressure from heavy bottom towed gear should be removed, not just reduced, from the most sensitive burrowed mud areas, particularly for fireworks anemones. The fan mussels here also need to be given the opportunity to recover, which can only happen if damaging activities are prevented.
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 Area36.97 km2 (14.27 mi.2)
Perimeter95.19 km (59.15 mi.)
Burrowed mud is a surprisingly important marine habitat which supports a rich community of animals. There are the burrow-making animals that live within the mud itself, including fish, worms, brittlestars, crabs and shrimps. Secondly, there are those a
Flameshell beds (Limaria hians)
Flame shells are animals with a pair of shells, like a mussel or scallop, that can form dense groups on the seabed. Large groups, or beds, of flame shells are very rare. They can attract and support hundreds of other species creating a very vibrant ocean
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’
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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