Protected Area J - Sanday SAC
The island of Sanday is one of the most northern of the Orkney Islands, and has a low-lying, indented coastline. Extensive rocky shores and headlands are broken by long clean sand beaches and muddy inlets. Rock extends a considerable distance offshore with shallow rocky reefs supporting dense kelp forests and these break the force of the waves hitting the shores, providing some protection for an otherwise exposed coastline.
The island supports a significant population of common seals which are protected by the SAC, as are a range of habitats - reefs, subtidal sandbanks, and intertidal mudflats and sandflats.
Reefs are found in the intertidal and in shallow and more offshore areas throughout the SAC. Shallow subtidal reefs are characterised by extensive kelp forests, with the reefs further offshore being more heavily silted and supporting more mixed kelp communities and animals which thrive in stronger currents such as hydroids and feather stars.
The subtidal sandbanks around Sanday are confined to shallow areas of fine sand in Otters Wick and the inshore areas immediately adjacent to open coast bays. Seagrass beds (Zostera marina) are located in clean fine sand off Otters Wick in water shallower than 5 m.
Summary of the approaches to management
The use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated) would be prohibited throughout the SAC.
See the Protected Area J section in the following documents;
See questions 23 - 24