The Celtic Seas
The Celtic Seas is home to a spectacular array of wildlife. Dolphins, porpoises, whales, sharks and seals share the same waters as fragile and slow-growing maerl beds, cold-water corals and horse mussel reefs. They are also home to many species that we depend on for food – such as mackerel, plaice, crabs and lobsters – while a wide variety of internationally important seabirds make their homes and feed along the coasts.
The Celtic Seas include parts of the open Atlantic west of Ireland and Scotland, shallow seas surrounded by land in the Irish Sea and west of Scotland, numerous sea lochs, and large estuaries like the Shannon, Severn and Solway Firth. There are many different habitats here, including sea lochs and tidal mudflats, and thick beds of the red calcified seaweed called maerl which has built up over centuries.