Southern Trench

Site overview: This site is shaped around the Southern Trench, a large undersea valley consisting of an area of deep water along the south of the outer Moray Firth. The Southern Trench is a great example of an enclosed glacial seabed basin. This proposed site overlaps the marine part of the Troup, Pennan and Lion’s Heads Special Protection Area, another type of Marine Protected Area. Large numbers of juvenile fish have been recorded within the deep waters here and it is thought that this is an important nursery area. Whales and Dolphins have also been recorded here.
At risk:  ! This site has not been designated a Marine Protected Area, but it should be! The Scottish government must designate this area and protect the sea creatures that live here.

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.


57° 44' 8" North,
2° 7' 58" West

Surface Area

2,489.17 km2
(961.07 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site