Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries/ Bae Caerfyrddin ac Aberoedd

Site overview: This is a large site made up of the estuaries of the Rivers Loughor, Ta and Tywi and the Gwendraeth. You can find mudflats and sandflats here as well as saltmarshes. Carmarthen Bay itself is an extensive, mainly sandy, shallow bay. The inlets and the three rivers systems provide a migratory route for salmon, lampreys and shad. This area is home to the near threatened European otter.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Area of Conservation
MPA Purpose
areas which have been identified as best representing the range and variety within the European Union of habitats and (non-bird) species listed on Annexes I and II to the Directive


51° 38' 14" North,
4° 25' 17" West

Surface Area

661.16 km2
(255.28 mi.2 )


298.33 km
(185.38 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Atlantic salt meadows (Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae))
  • Estuaries
  • Intertidal mudflats and sandflats (Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide)
  • Subtidal sandbanks (Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time)
  • Shallow inlets and bays (Large shallow inlets and bays)


  • Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)


  • Glasswort and other annuals colonising mud and sand (Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand)


  • Allis shad (Alosa alosa)
  • Twaite shad (Alosa fallax)
  • Otter (Lutra lutra)