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Scottish Marine Protected Area advice

Explore the formal advice from Scottish Natural Heritage on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in Scotland’s seas.

Adequacy of Scotland’s MPA network

Read the Assessment of the adequacy of the Scottish MPA network for MPA search features

View the results of a 2015 assessment of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) search features against stage 5 of the MPA Selection Guidelines.

The assessment against this guideline has been completed for the MPA search features in terms of how the below have been met for these features:

  • representation
  • replication
  • resilience
  • range and geographic variation of features
  • key linkages

Advice on completing Scotland’s MPA network

Read Further advice to Scottish Government on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas for the development of the Scottish MPA network: Commissioned Report No. 780

We submitted this formal advice to the Scottish Government in July 2014. Our advice includes details on the boundaries, protected features, draft conservation objectives and potential contribution of these Nature Conservation MPAs (NCMPAs). It recommends an additional four MPA proposals for designation as Nature Conservation MPAs.

You can also view the data confidence assessments for each of the four proposed NCMPAs:

Sensitivity of European Marine Sites to fishing

Read the Assessment on the sensitivity of EMS to fishing activities

In February 2014, SNH provided advice to Marine Scotland on the sensitivity of European Marine Sites (EMS) to the impacts of fishing activities. The aim was to help Marine Scotland work out where further management may be required.

NCMPA consultation advice report

Read SNH’s advice on selected responses to the 2013 Marine Scotland consultation on Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas: Commissioned Report No. 747

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.

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

View a list of links to the consultation documents.

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.

Find out more

Selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in Scotland