Background to NCMPA selection
Find out about the background to the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in Scotland’s seas.
The approach for identifying Nature Conservation MPAs followed a science-based process as set out in the Scottish MPA Selection Guidelines, and governed by the provisions within the The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and The UK Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). Read more about our work during the earlier stages of the process below, and explore the MPA network pages for further information.
2012 report on selection of Nature Conservation MPAs
Provided in 2012, our advice was later included in a Scottish Government report to the Scottish Parliament on progress towards identifying a network of MPAs in Scotland.
Read Selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in Scotland, which is a summarised version of our formal advice.
2013 NCMPA consultation advice report
In 2013, we recommended the designation of all 17 NCMPAs proposed for Scottish territorial waters, i.e. within 12 nautical miles of Scotland’s coast. All of these MPAs were subsequently designated by Scottish Ministers in 2014.
Our advice covers a wide range of issues such as:
- principles of network design
- use of evidence
- boundary setting
- determining conservation objectives
- site-specific issues
- future management of MPAs
Contribution of existing protected areas
This reports on our 2011 assessment of the presence and distribution of Marine Protected Area (MPA) search features – a selection of marine habitats and species – within existing protected areas (prior to any NC MPA designations). Detailed assessments were completed for each MPA search feature, based on available data.
You can also view a list of the documents used in this assessment:
Background to site assessments
Read about the purpose of the technical site documents used to assess the 17 proposed inshore NCMPAs during the 2013 consultation:
- What are the assessments against the MPA Selection Guidelines?
- Developing management options for Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas
- What are the data confidence assessments?
Development of detailed ecological guidance
To support the MPA Selection Guidelines being applied consistently, we provided detailed ecological guidance on selected marine habitats and species. Read the report to find out how the guidance was produced and to understand the terms used.
You can also view a list of documents summarising our understanding of the ecology of the proposed protected features of the proposed Nature Conservation MPAs (NCMPAs):