Protected Area K - Small Isles MPA
Home to the only known aggregation of fan mussels in UK waters, the Small Isles MPA encompasses waters around the west coast islands of Canna and Rum. The fan mussel is one of the UK's most threatened molluscs. As well as the large aggregation of fan mussels, the central section of the Sound of Canna supports the deepest known horse mussel bed in Scotland at depths of between 160-250 m.
The surrounding waters are a complex mosaic of habitats including burrowed mud populated by tall seapens, northern seafan and sponge communities, and circalittoral sand and mud communities.
The Small Isles MPA overlaps the Rum, Canna and Sanday SPAs designated in part for their breeding seabirds. The large breeding colony of over 1,200 individual black guillemots is also a protected feature of the MPA.
Summary of the approaches to management
There are 2 approaches presented and they focus on the mosaic of habitats in the Sound of Canna. Under both approaches additional measures will be required for black guillemot, northern seafan and sponge communities, and possibly burrowed mud.
Approach 1 encapsulates the habitats in a relatively simple polygon which would prohibit the use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated).
Approach 2 does the same but draws a more complex polygon to minimise the inclusion of fishing grounds. This polygon would prohibit the use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated).
See the Protected Area K section in the following documents;
See questions 25 - 27