Protected Area R - Wyre & Rousay Sounds MPA
Wyre and Rousay Sounds is at the margin of the Atlantic and the North Sea. The tides squeeze between Rousay, Wyre and Egilsay creating perfect conditions for protected features of maerl beds and other seaweed communities to thrive on the sandy seabed.
Maerl beds also have a strong link to coastal habitats of the Orkney Islands. The MPA lies within the Orkney carbonate production area, an internationally important example of a non-tropical shelf carbonate system. Here the seabed habitats are high in calcium carbonate because they are made up of the dead eroded shells and skeletons of plants and small animals that once lived in or on the seabed such as bivalve molluscs and maerl. These sediments supply the sandy beaches around Orkney and are essential for the development of coastal machair; a rare habitat that supports diverse springtime coastal meadows.
Summary of the approach to management
The use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated) would be prohibited throughout the MPA.
See the Protected Area R section in the following documents;
See questions 48 - 49
2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas