This site has been designated to protect the reefs and sea caves found here. The area is also home to one of the largest groups of Harbour seals in Shetland and is one of the most northerly groups in the UK. The large, rocky tidal pools on the island are of particular importance, as they are frequently used by the seals for pupping, breeding and moulting.
MPA TypeSpecial Area of Conservation
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under European legislation. They contribute both to the UK MPA network and set up to protect habitat types and species considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds).
Designation date1 October 1996
Surface Area5.31 km2 (2.05 mi.2)
Perimeter23.96 km (14.89 mi.)
Common seal (Phoca vitulina)
Mammals that feed on fish at sea but regularly haul out on to rocky shores or inter-tidal sandbanks to rest, or to give birth and to suckle their pups. Though called ‘common’ they are actually less numerous than the grey seal, which is the other species f
Submerged or partially submerged sea caves
Typically associated with reefs, caves that are either underwater all the time or welcome the sea at high tides, caves provide a habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals.
Areas where the bedrock, stable boulders and cobbles or structures created by animals arise from the surrounding seabed. They attract and provide a home to a huge variety of plant and animal life.
Did you know?…
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
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’