Sunart SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

Sunart supports a large number of European otters - which are listed as near threatened. The otters mainly forage in the extensive wrack and kelp beds here. There is also a large influx of freshwater from numerous streams and rivers around the site, which are important to the otters for washing.  In this area there is also a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area which aims to protect the seabed here. 

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

102.40 km2 (39.54 mi.2)


193.16 km (120.02 mi.)

  • Otter (Lutra lutra)

    These fish-eating mammals completely disappeared from the waterways of most of central and southern England in just 50 years, their future now looks much brighter.

  • Reefs

    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 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

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed