Scanner Pockmark SAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This site is approximately 185km off the north east coast of Scotland near the centre of the Witch Ground Basin, in waters of approximately 150 m depth. This area has a unique feature - blocks made by leaking gases. Anemones and squat lobsters live on these rocks. Fish (hagfish, haddock, wolf-fish and small redfish) also appear to be using the depressions in these structures for shelter. 

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 August 2008

Surface Area

3.35 km2 (1.29 mi.2)


7.69 km (4.78 mi.)

Coordinates (central point)

58° 17' 9" North, 0° 58' 22" East

  • Submarine structures made by leaking gases

    Tell tale marks that show that gas is making its way up through the seafloor from deeper layers below.

Did you know?…

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

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

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’