Larne Lough is situated on the County Antrim coast in the east of Northern Ireland. The Special Protection Area (SPA) site boundary is entirely coincident with both that of the Larne Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest and the Larne Lough Ramsar site.
The site qualifies under Article 4.1 of EC Directive 79/409 on the Conservation of Wild Birds by regularly supporting internationally important numbers of light-bellied Brent geese in winter.
Swan Island, which was classified as an SPA in its own right in 1992, still qualifies under Article 4.1 because, in summer, it supports nationally important breeding populations of the Annex 1 species, roseate and common tern. Swan Island has, in the recent past, held internationally important numbers of breeding roseate terns.