Deep sea

Scotland’s deep sea area is around four times bigger than the land mass of Scotland and includes everything beyond the continental shelf break at around 200 m deep to areas in excess of 2,000 m depth. It has remained largely unexplored until recently with the development of acoustic survey techniques and Remote Operated Vehicles it has begun to reveal its secrets.

The Predicted extent of physical disturbance to seafloor assessment uses the degree of exposure to demersal fishing activity as a proxy for habitat condition. The Case study: Deep sea vulnerable marine ecosystems highlights the growing wealth of information about the distribution and diversity of habitats and species in Scotland’s deep sea area, including carbonate mounds, cold-water coral reefs, coral gardens, sponge aggregations and seamount communities whilst revealing that there is still much more to be discovered.