Sun Star. St. Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.
Sun Star.
Scuba Diving. Scuba Diving.
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Dahlia Anemone.

The Kelp Forest


Diversity & Visibility
Pointer to current page.The Kelp Forest
Down to 15 metres
The Tide Exposed Zone
Deeper Water

Shore Diving

Shore Diving at St. Abbs
Wreck of the Odense

Boat Diving

Boat Diving
Wreck of the Alfred Erlandsen
Wreck of the Glanmire

General Information

Air & Information
Map of St. Abbs Head Coastline
Map of St. Abbs Harbour Coastline
Wolf-fish Survey

On a typical dive off St. Abbs Head from the surface to a depth of about 30m, you will go through a whole cross section of marine life zones. Firstly, attached to the rocks is a thick band of shiny, greeny-brown kelp down to a depth of about 8m. These large plants stand erect and swaying in the current. With sunlight dappling the rocks around their holdfast root systems and small fish darting around, it has a beauty all of its own and it is easy to see why this zone is known as the kelp forest. Kelp fronds are very slippery and only a few specialised animals such as hydroids and sea mat can make a home on them. So too can one or two sea slugs which prey on them. A large fish, the Ballan Wrasse, is often found amongst the kelp. These are well accustomed to visiting divers and often will swim up to them looking for hand outs.

The rocks between the kelp holdfasts can be a blaze of colour. Often it is a rich mauve due to the encrustation of a brittle algae called lithothamnion but it will be interspersed with other creatures of contrasting colours such as white and yellow anemones, red sea squirts, yellow and green sponge and feathery hydroids.

Text and Images by Jim Greenfield.

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Ballan Wrasse in Kelp forest.

Ballan Wrasse in Kelp forest.

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Anemones on Lithothamnion.

Anemones on Lithothamnion.

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