Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt

Site overview: The Faroe-Shetland Channel is a huge rift basin that separates the Scottish and the Faroese continental shelves to the north of Scotland. Warmer North Atlantic water flows over sub-zero deep water from the Norwegian Sea creating a unique environment which supports a wide diversity of sea life. This includes fields of slow-growing deep-sea sponges known Cheese-Bottoms to local fishermen, owing to their appearance!

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.


60° 51' 27" North,
3° 4' 34" West

Surface Area

5,283.64 km2
(2,040.03 mi.2 )

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