Overview Fulmar is 224km offshore from the Northumberland coast. It is one of the deepest and most northerly of all the Marine Conservation Zones (a type of Marine Protected Area). Here the seafloor is mainly sand and gravel, which provides an ideal home for creatures to bury themselves, such as the ocean quahog. This long-lived mollusc is often preyed upon by North Sea cod. Camouflaged against the surface of the seafloor, the undulate ray is a regular visitor here. This is also an important area for seabirds, providing foraging grounds for northern fulmars and northern gannets. Northern fulmar chicks have an interesting defense tactic whilst in their nests to keep themselves safe - they projectile vomit an oily liquid at their predators! This sticky secretion has a rotten fish smell and glues the attacker’s feathers together. The consequences are not good for the chicks’ opponents.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


56° 21' 4" North,
2° 10' 40" East

Surface Area

2,437.15 km2
(940.99 mi.2 )


200.21 km
(124.41 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Subtidal mud (Broad-scale habitat)
  • Subtidal sand (Broad-scale habitat)


  • Ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) (FOCI species)


  • Subtidal mixed sediments (Broad-scale habitat)


  • Ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) (Low or limited mobility species)