Restricted area

Please enter your user ID,
to access the collaborative space

Forgotten password ?

Retour à l'accueil - Logo ospar

RATHLIN ISLAND - Marine protected area (OSPAR )

print pageexport as PDFreduce font sizeEnlarge font size
  • Country:
    United Kingdom
  • Name of MPA:
  • Designation in national language:
    Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Status:
  • Status year:
  • WDPA ID::
  • WDPA PID::
Marine Areas Network Map

General information

  • WDPA ID : 555557133
  • WDPA PID : 555557133
  • Original name of MPA: Rathlin Island
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Designation in national language: Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Designation in English: Marine protected area (OSPAR )
  • Designation type: international
  • IUCN Category: Not applicable
  • Reported marine area: 31,45 km²
  • Calculated marine area: 29,47 km²
  • Status: Designated
  • Status year: 2005
  • OSPAR region: Celtic Seas
  • Management authority name: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Management authority web site:

  • OSPAR conservation objectives/aims:
    • Protect, conserve and restore species, habitats and ecological processes which have been adversely affected by human activities
    • Prevent degradation of, and damage to, species, habitats and ecological processes, following the precautionary principle
    • Protect and conserve areas that best represent the range of species, habitats and ecological processes in the maritime area
  • Site conservation objectives/aims:
    • To maintain, conserve or restore biodiversity, natural heritage, habitats, species or landscapes with legal protection status
    • To maintain key ecological functions (spawning areas, nursery grounds, feeding zones, resting areas, areas of high productivity, etc.)
  • Additional conservation objectives/aims: Data not reported

Marine species and habitats

Warning : Non-exhaustive list of species and habitats with statuses, provided by the manager.

  • Inventory of marine species present with protection status
    • Species present
      Species under status
      Class WoRMS Code Species present
      (and which justified the designation )
      Bivalvia 138802 Arctica islandica ( ) registration lists
      Liliopsida 145795 Zostera marina ( ) registration lists
      Mammalia 137084 Phoca vitulina ( ) registration lists
        137117 Phocoena phocoena ( ) registration lists
  • Inventory of marine habitats present with protection status
    • Present habitats (and which justified the designation )
      Espèces sous statut

      Habitats listed in Annex I to the 'Habitats' directive

      1170: Reefs ( )
      1110: Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time ( )
      8330: Submerged or partially submerged sea caves ( )

      EUNIS habitats

      A1.1 High energy littoral rock ( )
      A1.2 Moderate energy littoral rock ( )
      A1.3 Low energy littoral rock ( )
      A3.1 Atlantic and Mediterranean high energy infralittoral rock ( )
      A3.2 Atlantic and Mediterranean moderate energy infralittoral rock ( )
      A3.3 Atlantic and Mediterranean low energy infralittoral rock ( )
      A4.1 Atlantic and Mediterranean high energy circalittoral rock ( )
      A4.2 Atlantic and Mediterranean moderate energy circalittoral rock ( )
      A5.1 Sublittoral coarse sediment ( )
      A5.2 Sublittoral sand ( )
      A5.3 Sublittoral mud ( )
      A5.4 Sublittoral mixed sediments ( )
      A5.5 Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment ( )

      Habitats listed by the OSPAR Convention

      Littoral chalk communities ( )
      Maerl beds ( )
      Zostera beds ( )

Uses and activities

  • Human activities currently known to be occurring within the site:


  • Governing body:Data not reported
    • Structure(s) responsible for implementing management measures, the management plan and taking regulatory decisions and measures
      • National public authority: Data not reported
      • Regional or local public authority: Data not reported
      • International body : Data not reported

    Resources (staff, equipment and financial)

    • Number of permanent staff: Data not reported
    • Number of seasonal staff: Data not reported
    • Annual full-time equivalents: Data not reported
    • Number of MPA staff empowered to enforce the MPA regulations: Data not reported
    • Equipment and facilities available Data not reported
    • Average total annual budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual operating budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual equipment budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Average annual external support budget over the last 5 years: Data not reported euros
    • Funding sources: Data not reported

    Management plan

    • Is the MPA management documented? Yes
    • Comments : Conservation objectives available online and Rathlin European Marine Site Management Scheme available online
    • Are the measures to achieve the conservation objectives being implemented? Partial
    • Comments : Rathlin Island EMS Management Scheme is currently in place, implemented by Management Group detailing the pressures/threats to features and recommendations for management. Regulations to prohibit the use of mobile fishing gear are being developed.
    • Is monitoring in place to assess if measures are working? Yes
    • Comments : 6 yearly condition assessments are carried out, a programme of monitoring ASSI/SAC features is currently taking place. Regular ranger patrols are carried out for site integrity monitoring while a system of reporting damage is in place.
    • Is the MPA moving towards or has reached its conservation objectives? Yes
    • Comments : 2007-2008 condition assessment identified reef and sub-tidal sandbanks in unfavourable condition. Because of voluntary agreement not to use mobile fishing gear in the SAC, recent surveys indicate the features are returning towards favourable condition.
    • Number of management plan versions since the official designation of the MPA:


    • National legal status:
      • None
    • International legal status:
      • Habitats Directive - WDPA ID = 555535946 - N2000 ID = UK0030055
    • Type of enforcement within the MPA: Data not reported
    • Human uses and activities in the MPA subject to regulations: None


    • Type of monitoring programs implemented: Data not reported

    OSPAR criteria for designation

    • Ecological significance:
      • Important feeding, breeding, moulting, wintering or resting area
    • Level of importance of the biological diversity: High
    • Level of representativity: Very high / Outstanding
    • Level of sensitivity: Very high / Outstanding
    • Level of naturalness: High
    • Potential for restoration: High
    • Degree of MPA acceptance by stakeholders: Medium
    • Potential for success of management measures: High
    • Potential future damage to the area by human activities: Low / not significant
    • Scientific value High

    back to top

      updated on 17/02/2016