The oceanography and climate of the region is strongly influenced by conditions in the adjacent Atlantic Ocean, particularly along the continental shelf edge where where water exchange occurs between the ocean and shallow shelf seas (< 200m depth). Ocean currents support strong linkages between the Celtic Seas ecoregion and its neighbouring ecoregions. The Rockall Trough is an important pathway for the transport of warmer and more saline water from the Northeast Atlantic to more northerly ecoregions. Water transport on the shelf is primarily from south to north, and prevailing southwesterly winds from the west and south.
Four key areas constitute this ecoregion:
The Celtic Seas ecoregion is characterized by a diversity of habitats, such as an extensive slope, canyons, ridges, and seamounts that support vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) concentrated within northwest Scotland, west of Ireland, and the Celtic Sea areas.
Figure 1: The Celtic Seas ecoregion, showing countries, catchment area, bathymetry, subregions described in the text (grey text), neighbouring eocregions (black text, red lines), medium and large ports (red triangles), and ICES areas (grey lines).