Hatton Bank cSAC

Status: Designated


Site overview

This is a large volcanic bank, situated in the Atlantic North-West. The water depth across the bank ranges from less than 500m on the northern part of the bank, to over 1000m at the base.  Iceberg ploughmarks have formed on the seabed here.  Theseare a type of reef shaped by the movement of icebergs during the last ice age. Lace corals, black corals, soft corals, cup corals and gorgonian sea fans all flourish here in coral gardens, as well as a range of sponges, sea cucumbers, and anemones. 

MPA Type

Candidate 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). Sites which have been submitted to the European Commission by Government, but not yet formally adopted by the Commission, are referred to as candidate Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs).

Designation date

1 October 2012

Surface Area

15,691.08 km2 (6,058.36 mi.2)


969.44 km (602.38 mi.)

  • 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?…

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 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

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