Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh NCMPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

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 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

36.97 km2 (14.27 mi.2)


95.19 km (59.15 mi.)

  • Burrowed mud

    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?…

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

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns