Site details

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

Map type: Google Maps  SVG (dynamic)  Image (static)

Entrance to Killary Harbour. Photo: Damian Allen

Synoptic description of site:

A long narrow marine inlet, the only fjord in Ireland.

Extensive description of site:

Killary Harbour on the border of Co. Galway and Co. Mayo is Irelands only fjord. It is a narrow inlet extending approximately 15 km inland. At the entrance the seabed is 42 m shallowing towards the head of the bay.

Habitats present:
Littoral XX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna and flora are well documented mostly through surveys conducted in connection with the aquaculture developments in the area and through prior work completed by the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Human impact:

The area is subjected to high levels of aquaculture particularly mussel (Mytilus edulis) in the middle bay with salmon farming in the outer bay. The area is not heavily populated and fishing pressures are generally low.


Facilities for marine biodiversity research are available from the National University of Ireland, Galway which is within a few hours drive.

Available database and website:

No database or websites are known although many paper have been published on the marine biodiversity.

Commitment and ongoing research:

No commitment or ongoing research is known.

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.