Loch Sunart is a long narrow sea loch at the head of the Sound of Mull interrupted by numerous small islands and is designated for the conservation of flame shell beds, northern feather star aggregations on mixed substrata and serpulid aggregations.
The incoming and outgoing tide is squeezed around the islands forming fast tidal flows. These fast flowing currents deliver the perfect amount of food and air for extensive flame shell beds, the largest of which is at Laudale Narrows. A surprise discovery was made in 2006 when small serpulid worm aggregations were found in the shallow waters of Loch Teacuis, a small arm off Loch Sunart.
The Sunart Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is designated for oak woodlands and reefs. The MPA overlaps and builds on the marine part of the SAC.
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.