Large shallow inlets and bays, and sandbanks slightly covered by seawater all the time

Candidate SACs for shallow inlets and bays: Loch Nam Madadh, Strangford Lough, Morecambe Bay, Pembrokeshire Islands, Fal and Helford, Plymouth Sound & Estuaries, The Wash and North Norfolk Coast.

Candidate and possible SACs for sandbanks: Sound of Arisaig, Solway Firth, Severn Estuary, Isles of Scilly complex, Fal and Helford, Plymouth Sound, The Wash and North Norfolk Coast, Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast.

There are many examples of large shallow inlets and bays around the UK coast. Some are distinctive physiographic types such as rias and fjards but others are less easy to categorise. The seabed in these areas is likely to be dominated by soft sediments but bedrock, boulders, and gravels may also be present. Sublittoral sandbanks are often present and can be important areas for fisheries, support seagrass beds, maerl, and other communities depending on their exposure to wave action and currents, sediment type, and depth.

Other categories of habitat listed in the Habitats Directive which occur within large shallow inlets and bays are estuaries, mudflats, sandflats, reefs and lagoons. Reference should therefore be made to sections 4.2, 4.6 and 4.8 to get a fuller picture of the effects of fisheries on this habitat type.

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