Sound of Arisaig (Loch Ailort to Loch Ceann Traigh) SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site is important because it aims to protect the important sandbanks found here on the west coast of Scotland. This site is also significant because it is home to some of the most extensive and rich beds of maerl in the UK. Eelgrass also grows in the shallow sand in outer Loch Ailort. 

MPA Type

Special 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 date

1 October 1996

Surface Area

45.50 km2 (17.57 mi.2)


136.18 km (84.62 mi.)

  • Subtidal sandbanks

    Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time

Did you know?…

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

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