Protected Area P - Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil MPA
Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil is a productive multi-feature MPA for seabed habitats, including flame shell beds which have a recover conservation objective.
The quiet waters of these sea lochs are the ideal environment for a range of muddy seabed habitats to develop. Loch Shira is home to spectacular fireworks anemones that seem to explode from the mud. At Castleton there is a flame shell bed which helps stabilise the underlying sediment creating a habitat for a wide range of other plants and animals that would otherwise not be able to survive in the area.
Large aggregations of brightly coloured sea cucumbers are scattered in mixed muddy sediments at the entrance to the mouth of Loch Goil, alongside clumps of horse mussels and sea squirts as well as slender seapens and tube dwelling sea anemones that snap quickly back into their tubes if disturbed.
Summary of the approaches to management
There are 2 approaches for the recovery of the flame shell bed, and 2 approaches for the rest of the habitats. The use of suction dredges (boat or diver operated) would be prohibited throughout the MPA. The capacity of vessels able to fish in the MPA would be restricted to 75 Gross Registered Tonnage ( GRT).
The difference between the 2 approaches for the flame shell beds is the spatial extent to which all fishing activities would be restricted.
For the rest of the habitats the 2 approaches would achieve the same outcomes in a different way. This 1 st of these would prohibit the use of demersal trawls, or mechanical dredges, on a zonal basis. The 2 nd approach would create designated fishing areas for the use of demersal trawls or mechanical dredges.
See the Protected Area P section in the following documents;
See questions 38 - 42