A hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus on a blade of Zostera marina seagrass. Gruinard Bay. Photographer: Graham Saunders. © SNH. All rights reserved. Please contact CMEU for details, snhmarinephotos@nature.scot

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 NCMPAs

Read Advice to the Scottish Government on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas for the development of the Scottish MPA network: Commissioned Report No. 547

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.  

Contribution of existing protected areas

Read the Contribution of existing protected areas to the MPA network and identification of remaining MPA search feature priorities

This reports on our assessment of the presence and distribution of Marine Protected Area (MPA) search features – a selection of marine habitats and species – within existing protected areas. 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:

Read the Contribution of existing protected areas and detailed ecological guidance

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:

Development of detailed ecological guidance

Read the Development of detailed ecological guidance to support the application of the Scottish MPA Selection Guidelines in Scotland’s Seas: Commissioned Report No. 491

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):

Read the Contribution of existing protected areas and detailed ecological guidance

You can read more about the Scottish MPA network and our Survey and monitoring work

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