This report provides an assessment of emerging evidence on the socio-economic impacts of Scotland’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).This report presents evidence from key informant interviews, analysis of fishing activity data and three case studies of the South Arran and Wester Ross MPAs and the East Mingulay Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
At the national level, there is no evidence to-date of significant socioeconomic impacts that could be attributed to the introduction of MPA management measures. This is consistent with evidence provided by Marine Scotland prior to the introduction of MPA management measures.
It is possible that the various marine sectors are still adjusting to the introduction of MPA management measures. Key informant interviews and case studies suggest that at the local level socioeconomic impacts of MPA management measures could increase over time as various sectors fully adapt to the measures; the productivity of available fishing grounds change due to a shift in fishing pressure; and, as further management measures are introduced.
This report proposes that Marine Scotland continues to monitor the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs on all sectors and commissions another evaluation of the socioeconomic impacts of MPA management measures in 2018 to allow time for the various marine sectors to adapt.