Sea of the Hebrides NCMPA

Status: Proposed


Site overview

This site covers the Sea of the Hebrides between the east of the Outer Hebrides and the west coasts of Skye, Mull and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. it includes the 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 protected animals which travel over great distances - the basking shark and the minke whale - as well as for 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, and 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.

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.

Surface Area

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

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas