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Burrowed and mounded mud habitat with Nephrops norvegicus burrows and a small Asterias rubens starfish. Graham Saunders © Marine Scotland. All rights reserved. Please contact CMEU for details -

Wester Ross NCMPA

Designated to safeguard diverse seabed habitats, Wester Ross Nature Conservation MPA also protects the site’s complex underwater geodiversity.

Features in the waters around Wester Ross range from burrowed mud with seapens to flame shell beds and lush kelp forests to northern feather stars. The NCMPA designation plays a vital role in their protection.

Conservation objectives

  • Recover the maerl beds and flame shell beds
  • Conserve the other protected features within the Wester Ross NCMPA

Protected features


  • burrowed mud
  • circalittoral muddy sand communities
  • flame shell beds
  • kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment
  • maerl beds
  • maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers
  • northern feather star aggregations on mixed substrata


  • marine geomorphology of the Scottish shelf seabed – banks of unknown substrate
  • Quaternary of Scotland – glaciated channels/troughs, megascale glacial lineations, moraines
  • seabed fluid and gas seep – pockmarks
  • submarine mass movement – slide scars


Wester Ross Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area Order 2014

Wester Ross Marine Protected Area: Site summary - Amazing marine biodiversity in a glacial landscape

Wester Ross MPA boundary map

Wester Ross MPA: Data confidence assessment

Wester Ross MPA: Assessment against the MPA Selection Guidelines

Wester Ross MPA: Management options


Email: [email protected]

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