Located off north-west Scotland, the Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope MPA follows the descent of seabed from a depth of 200m into the deep-sea. The Slide is a submarine landslide, named after the famous Scottish geologist Sir Archibald Geikie. The continental slope is believed to be significant for the health of Scotland’s seas because of the way it influences the movement of water currents which bring a plentiful supply of food to the area.
Habitats within the MPA vary down the slope with the descent into deeper, calmer water. The sand and gravel habitat on the continental shelf continues down the continental slope. As the depth increases, the habitat changes to burrowed mud, characterised by the burrows formed by animals such as mud shrimp and deep sea crabs. Along the bottom of the slope, a range of animals are present that can tolerate the environmental conditions of the deep. Sea life can be found living in and on the mud, including sea urchins, sea spiders, and deep-sea worms. The area is also a breeding ground for commercially important fish, such as blue ling.
The current conservation objective is to conserve the protected features of this MPA.
More detail on the designation is available from the JNCC website.
The final Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for this MPA is available to view.