South Arran

Site overview: This area was selected for protection because of its diversity of animals and plants including maerl beds, kelp, seaweed and possibly the largest seagrass bed in the Clyde. The site covers over 250 km2 and encompasses the current Lamlash Bay No Take Zone, an area where the removal of marine life is forbidden. This area is important for herring which use the area as a spawning ground, and is home to burrowing sea cucumbers and ocean quahogs - clam-like animals which can live for up to 400 years.
Extra information:
Seasearch, which is a network of scientifically trained scuba divers, conducted observer training back in 2003 with divers from the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST). These divers carried out dives throughout Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran, to support the successful proposal for a designated as a protected area. These divers found a huge variety of marine life including abundant feather stars, burrowing anemones, juvenile cod, maerl beds, occasional king and queen scallops, seapens, common starfish, sea urchins, spiny starfish and cushion starfish. In the South Bank area of the site, in Whiting Bay it was observed that the seabed had been dredged two days previously leaving broken scallop shells and starfish remnants. In other area of the site old nets and trawl wires were seen abandoned.

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° 27' 46" North,
5° 10' 3" West

Surface Area

279.96 km2
(108.09 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site