The East Caithness Cliffs MPA, in the north-east between Wick and Helmsdale, is designated for an important area for black guillemot.
Nearly 1,000 black guillemot live on the rocky crevices and ledges of the sea cliffs between Wick and Helmsdale. The East Caithness Cliffs MPA includes the cliff nesting areas of these striking birds as well as adjacent coastal waters where they feed. The MPA will provide protection for an estimated 2.5% of the British population of black guillemot. This is the most important area on the east coast of the UK for this charismatic Scottish seabird.
The MPA builds on the East Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area (SPA), designated for internationally important numbers of other seabirds including razorbill, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar and common guillemot.
The current conservation objective is to conserve the protected features of this MPA.
More detail on the designation is available from the SNH website.
The final Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for this MPA is available to view.