NatureScot Commissioned Report 600: Predictive mapping of proposed protected features within selected possible Nature Conservation MPAs in Scottish territorial waters using available datasets
The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 include new powers for Scottish Ministers to designate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Thirty-three Nature Conservation possible MPAs have been developed and a further four MPA search locations remain to be fully evaluated.
The aim of this study was to derive predictive polygon maps of specified sea bed proposed protected features in 10 possible Nature Conservation MPAs within Scottish territorial waters. The main objectives were to: (1) generate protected feature maps on the basis of the best available information (existing remote sensing and ground-truthing data holdings); (2) determine the confidence ascribed to the mapping products; and (3) undertake a preliminary appraisal of all existing data holdings for each possible Nature Conservation MPA to determine their suitability for underpinning the development of full coverage sea bed habitat maps in due course.
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