The Moray Firth is the deepest of the Scottish Firths, having an average depth of 50 metres, The area covered by the partnership extends 12 miles out to sea, and includes the largest known horse mussel bed in Scotland off Noss Head in Caithness. Off the south shore a deep water channel lying 5 – 10 kilometres of the Buckie to Fraserburgh coast shelves steeply down.
In the shallow waters, the sandbanks of the Moray Firth are typically at depths of less than 20 metres, butare permanently covered by sea water. Burrowing worms, crustaceans, bivalve molluscs, sea urchins and starfish, shrimps, crabs and fish all make their homes here. These hallow sandy sediments are often important nursery areas for fish. Seagrass (Zostera marina) beds, which are rare in Britain, provide rich feeding for the wintering geese and waterbirds, for which the Moray Firth is internationally significant.
The sandbanks are protected as a Special Area of Conservation, which is also a protection zone for the bottlenose dolphins.
Find out more about other Moray Firth marine life: