The Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh MPA for burrowed mud and flame shell beds builds on the Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh SAC, designated for extensive tide-swept and sheltered rocky reefs, & horse mussel beds.
In the shallow tide-washed waters of Kyle Akin and through the mouth of Loch Alsh under the Skye Bridge, the flame shell bed covers an area of 93 ha. With at least 100 million shells, but possibly up to as many as half a billion, this is the largest known bed in Scotland and possibly the world.
Parts of the deep basins of the three lochs are blanketed with soft burrowed mud. The chambered burrows and mounds of Norway lobsters pepper the seabed and all three types of Scottish sea pens are found including forests of the scarce tall seapen. Fireworks anemones are recorded in large numbers in Loch Duich.
The current conservation objective is to conserve the protected features of this MPA.
More detail on the designation is available from the SNH website.
The final Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for this MPA is available to view.