South of Portland

Site overview: This is an inshore site measuring 18 km2 which has a unique seabed characterised by canyons and strong tidal streams, which create a very specific sea-floor habitat not found elsewhere in the South West. These very strong tidal currents, called the Portland Race, have eroded deep depressions in the soft rock layers underlying Portland. This has created a unique feature of geological importance, known as the Portland Deep. The sandy seafloor has aunique mixture of seabed life, including a blue mussel bed which is used by other species as a source of food and shelter.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


50° 29' 26" North,
2° 29' 51" West

Surface Area

17.49 km2
(6.75 mi.2 )


18.00 km
(11.19 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site