South Rigg Recommended Marine Conservation Zone

Potential Tranche 2

Common heart urchin (Credit Paul Naylor) Common heart urchin (Credit Paul Naylor)

Vulnerable to disturbance, tube worms, slender sea pens, heart urchins, mud shrimp and the Dublin Bay prawn all live with the seabed sediments.

South Rigg contains the only known breeding population of ocean quahog clams in the Irish Sea.

Located between the Isle of Mann and Northern Ireland, South Rigg is extremely important due to the presence of the Irish Sea Mounds. These rocky outcrops on the sea floor provide a solid base for creatures to settle. There is a myriad of species that call this area home including anemones, brittlestars, sea firs and sea mats, tube worms, slender sea pens, heart urchins, mud shrimps and Dublin Bay prawns.

Did you know ocean quahogs live for up to 400 years and are used in scientific studies on climate change. They are also an important food source for cod.

Become a Friend of this MCZ

StatusThis recommended Marine Conservation Zone is under consideration for the second tranche of MCZs.


Defra have indicated that this site is now under consideration for tranche two and will potentially be included in the formal consultation at the beginning of 2015. Defra will now working to verify the evidence base for this site and will be looking to engage with stakeholders on both a local and national level to refine information about the site. The site is particularly important due to the presence of the ocean quahog, which is not protected anywhere else in the Irish Sea.

Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee have also identified this site as being at risk of damage and degradation, in particular to the mud habitats found within the site.

We need you to help ensure that this site is designated next year. Become a Friend of this site to stay up-to-date with The Wildlife Trusts' campaign to see how you can help.


Other nearby MCZs

Slieve Na Griddle  Mud Hole

Location map

South Rigg recommended MCZ is located in the map below.

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data. Crown copyright and database right and contains Ordnance Survey Data Crown copyright and database 2012

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