The Department is satisfied that the area shown on the attached map meets the criteria for classification as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the terms of the European Community Directive of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (79/409/EEC, codified as Directive 2009/147/EC).
This Directive requires Member States, including the UK, to have in place special measures to conserve the habitat of certain rare or vulnerable species of birds, or regularly occurring migratory bird species. Particular attention must be paid to the protection of wetlands these species use, especially wetlands of international importance.
As part of a UK-wide assessment of marine areas of significance for birds, a range of studies have been undertaken to identify our most important sites.
Species specific work on the East Coast of Northern Ireland has shown that this area qualifies as a Special Protection Area for the species shown in the citation.