Protected Area D - Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA
(Incorporating Loch Sunart MPA and Loch Sunart SAC)
Loch Sunart is a long narrow sea loch at the northern end of the Sound of Mull. Within the loch there are numerous small islands creating narrow channels through which the incoming and outgoing tide is squeezed. These fast flowing currents create the essential conditions for the development of extensive flame shell beds, the largest of which is found in the Laudale Narrows.
The loch contains bedrock reef habitats and a diverse range of associated communities. An exciting discovery was made in 2006 when aggregations of the serpulid or organ-pipe worm were found in the shallow waters of Loch Teacuis, a small arm off Loch Sunart.
During the last ice age glaciers scoured the surface of Scotland eroding areas of soft rock to form glens, leaving the harder, more resistant rock behind as mountains. When temperatures rose and the ice retreated, the sea flooded the most deeply eroded channels leaving them submerged along the current coastline. Stunning examples of these underwater channels or troughs are scattered throughout the Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA providing shelter to the reproductively mature
Summary of the approaches to management
There are 2 approaches presented;
The 1 st approach provides spatial protection for the various habitats and the deep areas where mature common skate tend to reside.
The 2 nd approach builds on the first by adjoining 3 of the deep areas to include shallower waters and provide connective protection for transient common skate.
See the Protected Area D section in the following documents;
See questions 10 - 12