Peacock worms (Credit Rob Spray)
If you look closely camouflaged against the seabed at Swallow Sand is a mosaic of life including the fanned tentacles of the tiny peacock worm.
Sandy, gravelly seabeds attract spawning mackerel and sprat to Swallow Sands.
Located within the northern North Sea, 99km off the Berwickshire coast, this site ranges from 50-150 metres in depth, making it one of the deepest areas in the North Sea. Swallow Sand is one of the largest recommended MCZs covering 4746.12km².
The seafloor consists of sand, coarse sediment, gravel and mud and is home to burrowing worms and bivalve molluscs. Within the western region of the site is an important geological feature, the Swallow Hole. This glacial tunnel valley supports high numbers of commercial fish species, including Sprat and
Mackerel. The north-eastern region of Swallow Sand is an important area for summer foraging birds,including Atlantic puffins, black kittiwakes, common guillemots, northern fulmars and northern gannets.
This recommended Marine Conservation Zone has been put forward for potential designation in 2013, government consultation pending.
We need you to urge Defra to remain committed to designating this site in 2013 and to putting appropriate management in place as soon as possible:
This site has been proposed for designation in 2013 for two of the habitats recommended by stakeholders for protection within the site. Defra has indicated that they require additional evidence for two remaining habitats recommended by stakeholders before considering their inclusion in future tranches. Defra commissioned additional survey work for this site in 2012 which has not yet been taken into account.
We need you to urge Defra to remain committed to designating this site in 2013 and to putting appropriate management in place as soon as possible. Defra should also use additional evidence gathered to consider the designation of the remaining habitats recommended by stakeholders.
Other nearby MCZs
Swallow Sand 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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