The seas around Scotland are world class. They are home to a third of the world’s grey seals, 24 species of whale and dolphin, including the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphin, 43% of all seabirds breeding in the EU, basking sharks - the second largest fish on the planet, and they provide summer feeding grounds for the endangered leatherback turtle. Coldwater coral reefs, burrowed mud communities, tideswept channels and maerl, horsemussel and flameshell beds, are all part of the rich tapestry of Scottish waters.
You may not have heard of pink sea fingers (a type of soft coral), tall sea pens and fireworks anemones, but they’re all there under the waves.
Threat to Wildlife
However, this precious biodiversity is under increasing threat from human activity, including fishing, aquaculture, climate change, offshore energy development and litter.
Protect Wildlife: Pledge your Support
You can help protect and recover Scotland’s marine wildlife by supporting well-protected MPAs, sending us your sightings of marine wildlife or, if you are a diver, taking part in Seasearch.
Actions you can take
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 15,000 marine species are found in UK seas
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
Scotland’s Parliament: Ambitions for Scotland announced - MCS comment
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out a big Programme for Government in Scotland’s Parliament.Read comment from MCS
Stop the plastic tide
Support our appeal to turn the tide on plastics.Find out more