Bae Caerfyrddin/ Carmarthen Bay SPA

Status: Designated


Site overview

This was the first fully marine Special Protected Area in the UK, and makes up part of the larger Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries European Marine Site. This area was designated for the common scoter seaduck. This is a nationally threatened species, with more than 50% of the non-breeding population calling fewer than ten sites, and Carmarthen Bay, home. 

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 June 2003

Surface Area

334.52 km2 (129.16 mi.2)


128.80 km (80.03 mi.)

  • Black (common) scoter (Melanitta nigra)

    The common scoter is seaduck. The UK breeding population of this small diving seaduck has substantially declined and it is now a Red List species.

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets

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

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