|Loch Carron MPA|
|Location||Ross and Cromarty, Scotland|
|Area||2,284.47 ha (8.8204 sq mi)|
Loch Carron (Scottish Gaelic: "Loch Carrann") is a sea loch on the west coast of Ross and Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands, which separates the Lochalsh peninsula from the Applecross peninsula, and from the Stomeferry headland east of Loch Kishorn. It is the point at which the River Carron enters the North Atlantic Ocean.
According to the marine charts, the tidal currents reach 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in the narrows, although not much water disturbance is visible in the flow. At the narrows, the depth of water is less than 20 metres, but in the basins on either side, it extends to a depth of more than 100 metres. Beneath the cliffs at Strome Castle is a colony of flame shells; with a population of over 250 million the loch is the world's largest flame shell bed, and was designated as a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA) in 2017, with the protection being made permanent in 2018. The new MPA of 23 km2 took effect on 19 May 2019. Within the MPA the use of fishing gear that may damage the seabed is prohibited, although rod and line fishing and creeling is permitted.
Tourism is a significant industry in the Highlands of Scotland and one that generates important local economic activity. It provides employment for local people and attracts many visitors to Wester Ross in general and Lochcarron in particular because of its traditional seaside location.
- River Carron
- Lochcarron, a village on the loch
- Stromeferry, situated on the south side at the narrows
- Plockton, village with harbour at the west end from which boat service takes tourists to the seal colony on the islands
- "SiteLink: Loch Carron MPA(NC)". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- "Dolphin escort". Divernet. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Plan to give Loch Carron permanent protection". BBC. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
- "Dredger damaged Loch Carron reef secures protected status". BBC. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "Scottish Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 101: The Loch Carron Marine Conservation Order 2019". Queen’s Printer for Scotland. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- 2528 Loch Gairloch, Loch Kishorn and Loch Carron (Map) (2007 ed.). UK Hydrographic Office.