Loch Sween

Site overview: This is an important area for mud, and all the animals that live in mud! These include volcano worms, Norway lobsters, shrimps and burrowing gobies. Maerl beds also flourish here. A dense bed of hedgehog maerl runs down the central part of the Caol Scotnish. These create important habitats for other species such as feather stars, scallops, sponges, crabs and fish. Native oysters occur in patches throughout the Loch, which provide food for the otters that live here. Once common in Scotland and supporting a grand shellfish export industry, beds of native oysters now only exist in a few scattered locations. The population within Loch Sween is considered to be of national importance.

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.


55° 57' 16" North,
5° 40' 19" West

Surface Area

40.66 km2
(15.70 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site