Located off north-west Scotland, the Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope MPA follows the descent of seabed from a depth of 200m into the deep-sea. The Slide is a submarine landslide, named after the famous Scottish geologist, Sir Archibald Geikie. The continental slope is believed to be significant for the health of Scotland’s seas because of the way it influences the movement of water currents which bring a plentiful supply of food to the area. This site is one of 13 Offshore MPAs around Scotland. 
Management measures for this site were proposed by Scottish Government late last year. Save Scottish Seas campaign members have assessed the Scottish Government’s management proposals for this site as part of its consultation response.
Read our response to the management measures here:
We support restriction of mobile demersal gear within the site. However, we do not support the
lower management boundary for demersal mobile gears on the 800m contour. Below 600m the
collateral damage to vulnerable species exceeds the commercial return from trawl fisheries.
Therefore, continued trawl activity below that depth would not be considered a sustainable use of
the MPA. We therefore strongly urge that demersal mobile gears be restricted below 600m.
Additionally, there is a lack of protection for shelf break/slope between 200-400m across the
network and therefore we would support some restriction on mobile demersal gear within this zone.
Read our response to the 2013 site consultation here:
Save Scottish Seas campaign members have assessed the Scottish Government’s MPA proposal for this site as part of its consultation response.
LINK supports the designation of the Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope possible Nature Conservation MPA. This possible MPA offers the most significant representation of northwest continental shelf slope species and communities, in such as burrowed mud, offshore deep sea muds, and offshore subtidal sands and gravels. The region also exhibits greater sighting records for cetaceans. The area is historically subjected to lower fishing activity. Protection designation is supported for pelagic features, and would provide benefits for adjacent internationally listed seabird colonies.
We support conservation objectives for the protected features within the Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope possible MPA to ‘conserve’ for all features. We further support and encourage designation of large zones prohibiting those forms of disturbance by mobile and static gear that could have a significant impact on the conservation objectives to ensure sizable proportions of sensitive communities are fully protected from disturbance and have opportunity for future enhancement.
The information presented to the possible impacts (if any) of gill netting and line fishing is insufficient to make informed comment. However, this highlights the need for greatly improved fisheries management protocols, monitoring and surveillance for these activities.
We are concerned that no management options are provided for the large-scale biodiversity search feature continental slope. Continental slope is included as a biodiversity feature based on the increased primary production and biodiversity and management options to protect this wider biodiversity should be included.
The socioeconomic impact data presented in the BRIA indicates that the costs incurred in removing damaging activities are not significantly different between the Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope possible MPA option (£5 – £7 million Present value, total over 20 years) compared to the South-west Sula Sgeir and Hebridean Slope possible MPA option (£5 – £6.5 million). We argue that these costs of restricting damaging activities will be outweighed by the medium to long term benefit of protecting the ecological integrity of Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope possible MPA so it can continue to provide ecosystem services to Scotland’s offshore waters.
The area is used by white-sided dolphin and sperm whale which should be included as protected features and considered in developing management options and assessing socioeconomic impacts.
Check out the official documents relating to the possible Geikie Slide and Hebridean slope MPA on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee website.
 Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope MPA Site Summary Document, JNCC