Marine cSAC Management Strategies

Marine Special Areas of Conservation are part of the Natura 2000 network of sites.

Information on Marine Special Areas of Conservation is available from Scottish Natural Heritage.  There are currently 7 Marine SAC's in Highland, these are:

The Sound of Arisaig SAC: This site is designated for the presence of subtidal sand banks. A management scheme has been developed in partnership with local stakeholders and is available here.

Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh Reefs SAC: The designated feature of interest for this site is Reefs which includes bedrock and biogenic reefs.  The site area extends to 2380Ha.  On the advice of SNH a draft management scheme has been prepared for this site with input from the Council and local stakeholders.  The management scheme is awaiting finalisation of the draft and public consultation.

Ascrib,Isay and Dunvegan SAC: This site is designated for the presence of colonies of common seals which breed on the two islands and in Loch Dunvegan.  SNH has advised that no formal management agreement is required for this site.

Dornoch Firth and Morrich More SAC: The site extends to 8700Ha and the features of interest include a variety of marine and terrestrial features including, otter, common seal, reefs, sublittoral sandbanks and estuaries.  There is no formal management scheme for the site although SNH has reached agreements with the main stakeholders in the SAC.  In this case this includes the Council in its role as managers of the Tain Mussel Fishery.

The Moray Firth SAC: This is the largest of the Marine SAC's in Highland and also extends into Moray and Aberdeenshire Council areas.  The site is designated for Bottlenose Dolphin and subtidal sandbanks. A management scheme is in place for this SAC which has been developed and revised by the Moray Firth SAC Management Group facilitated by the Moray Firth Partnership.

Sunart SAC: This is a combined marine and terrestrial site, the designated feature of interest for the marine element which comprises 46% of the site is  is Reefs which includes bedrock and biogenic reefs.  On the advice of SNH a draft management scheme has been prepared for this site with input from the Council and local stakeholders.  The management scheme is awaiting finalisation of the draft and public consultation.

Loch Laxford SAC; this site is designated as it contains examples of Reefs and Large Shallow Inlets and Bays.  The site extends to 1221Ha.  There is no formal Management Scheme for the site as SNH has determined that none is required at this stage.

James Bromham,
Aquaculture Development Officer,
Telephone: 01463 702 510,
Email: james.bromham@highland.gov.uk.