Site details

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Flag of Ireland
5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
Normal Focal Site

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Inner Kenmare River is sheltered with fucoid covered rocky shores. Photo: Chris Emblow

Synoptic description of site:

Drowned river valley with numerous islets and islands.

Extensive description of site:

Kenmare River in Counties Cork and Kerry is a broad sea inlet tapering about 40 km inland. The outer part is over 70 m deep shallowing gently towards the head of the bay. The shores are primarily rocky with shallow sheltered bays and inlets along both the north and south shores.

Habitats present:
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna and flora are well documented from surveys carried out during the BIOMAR project and current mapping surveys to develop management plans for the marine SAC. The range of habitats provide for a rich and varied fauna and flora.

Human impact:

The area is subjected to pressures from aquaculture (Intensive Mytilus edulis culture occurs in some of the sheltered bays). The area is not heavily populated.


No facilities occur on site however the whole of the bay is within a few hours drive of Universities at Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Available database and website:

The results of the BIOMAR survey are available on CD;


Commitment and ongoing research:

There is ongoing marine biodiversity research in Kenmare River linked with the development of management plans for the SAC. There is a requirement by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to undertake some biodiversity monitoring as part of the SAC designation.

Additional Information:

Picton, B. E. & Costello, M. J., Eds. 1999. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. Trinity College, Dublin, Environmental Sciences Unit. Marine Institute 1999. Ireland's Marine and Coastal Areas and adjacent Seas: An Environmental Assessment. Dublin.