Sea of the Hebrides

Site overview: This site covers the Sea of the Hebrides between the east coast of the Outer Hebrides and the west coasts of Skye, Mull and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, incorporating sea around the islands of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Coll and Tiree. This proposal also includes the Small Isles Marine Protected Area which covers the sea around the Isles of Rum and Canna. This is a large site because it has been identified for two mobile protected animals, basking shark and minke whale, as well as large-scale protected features. Basking sharks and minke whales occur throughout the area, with basking sharks recorded particularly around Coll, Tiree, Skerryvore and Hyskier, and minke whale recorded most frequently in the north-west of the proposed area along the coast of the Outer Hebrides, as well as around the Small Isles.
At risk:  ! This site is not yet designated as a Marine Protected Area, but it should be. The Scottish Government was originally scheduled to consult on this proposal in late 2013 but this has been delayed, meaning that this site is not protected.

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.


56° 45' 24" North,
6° 51' 32" West

Surface Area

10,312.67 km2
(3,981.74 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site