The Report to the Scottish Parliament on Progress on the Development of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network for Scotland, as required under Section 103 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and Section 124 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and has been laid in the Scottish Parliament. It reports on which sites are currently included in the network and outlines progress on Nature Conservation MPAs, Historic MPAs, and Demonstration and Research MPAs.
The evolving MPA network in Scotland’s seas includes:
- 46 Special Areas of Conservation (and another possible SAC)
- 45 seabird colony Special Protected Areas (SPA)
- 61 Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- 8 fisheries management areas
33 Nature Conservation MPA proposals have now also been developed and a further 4 MPA search locations remain to be fully assessed. Were every one of these proposals taken forward for designation, the new MPAs would represent 12% of the area of Scotland’s seas.
For further details on the identification of Nature Conservation MPAs, Scottish Natural Heritage and Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s comprehensive 'Advice to the Scottish Government on the Selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for the Development of the Scottish MPA Network' is now available online.
And for further information on the exciting basking shark tagging work off the West coast of Scotland to find out more about what basking sharks do in Scotland's seas, please visit the Scottish Natural Heritage and Wildlife Tracking webpages for background and up to the minute tracking of basking shark behaviour.