Belfast Lough is a large intertidal sea lough situated at the mouth of the River Lagan on the east coast of Northern Ireland. The inner part of the lough comprises a series of mudflats and lagoons. The outer lough is restricted to mainly rocky shores with some small sandy bays.
In the outer lough, the Ramsar boundary is entirely coincident with that of Outer Belfast Lough ASSI but within the immediate harbour area.
The boundary has been redrawn to take into account permitted port related development and landfill which has taken place since the Inner Belfast Lough ASSI was declared in 1987. Marine areas below mean low water are not included. The Ramsar boundary is entirely coincident with that of the Belfast Lough Special Protection Area.
The site qualifies under Criterion 3c by regularly supporting internationally important numbers of redshank in winter. The site also regularly supports nationally important numbers of shelduck, oystercatcher, purple sandpiper, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, bar-tailed godwit, curlew and turnstone.
Belfast Lough as a whole is also used by several other waterfowl species including great crested grebe, scaup, eider, goldeneye and red-breasted merganser.
- Appointment of Deputy Chair and up to 16 Board Members to the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC)
- ASSI Guidance for Public Bodies/Competent Authorities
- Coastal Areas of Special Scientific Interest
- Conservation and protection enforcement programme
- Conservation Management Plans for Northern Ireland’s Special Areas of Conservation
- Ecological Surveys
- European Marine Sites - Marine Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas
- Financial administrative penalties
- Fishing licence points system for serious infringements of the enforcement programme
- Management of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
- Mandatory recording of marine mammal bycatch
- Marine Conservation Zones
- Marine historic environment
- Marine Protected Areas
- Marine Ramsar sites
- Monitoring marine habitats and species
- NI CHART Bluefin Tuna
- Outline Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
- Portrush Coastal Zone
- Special Areas of Conservation
- Special Areas of Conservation for Harbour porpoise
- Special Protection Areas