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Marine Scotland Information

Marine Scotland Information logoMarine Scotland have launched a new information portal called Marine Scotland Information. This new web portal provides access to important contextual information for the data and resources Marine Scotland makes available online. With a particular focus on mapping and our scientific data, this site combines information from the National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) online web mapping resource, the Marine Scotland data portal and the larger geospatial data previously hosted on Marine Scotland interactive.

The data previously held on Marine Scotland interactive has now migrated to Marine Scotland Information and will be updated there.  The MSi pages will remain online for archive and redirection purposes.

The links below have been redirected to the relevant pages on the new website

Marine Monitoring Network Review

In December 2011, Marine Scotland initiated a review of the existing Scottish marine monitoring network, to identify its capabilities and to identify gaps in marine environmental data that are required to inform offshore wind, wave and tidal energy SEA, HRA and MSFD assessment and monitoring requirements. Halcrow Group Ltd (Halcrow) was commissioned to complete a Review of the Scottish Marine Monitoring Network to inform development of offshore renewable energy in Scottish waters, with the project running from January to April 2012.

Objectives of the Review

The key aims of this project are to:

  • provide a review of the current capabilities of the existing marine monitoring network in Scotland
  • examine the suitability of marine monitoring data to report on trend information
  • set out recommendations on changes to the current monitoring network

in relation to the requirements of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) to support offshore renewable wind, wave and tidal energy development plans, in Scottish waters. 

Supporting Document

GIS Layers

Map of ScotlandThis download contains several Arcmap GIS layers that create the map shown in the image. (You can click on the image for a larger version.)

These Layers include:

  • Leased Wave & Tidal Areas
  • Leased Wind Sites
  • Offshore Wind Plan Regions
  • Regional Locational Guidance (RLG) Wave and Tidal Sites of Opportunity
  • Regional Locational Guidance (RLG) Wind Scoping Areas

These layers contain:

  • shape files for leased, demonstration, operational and search areas/areas of opportunity for wind, wave and tidal sites
  • site polygons hold attributes tables which include high level detail on the site reference, lease holders, and the monitoring programmes/points/transects within the site area
  • each polygon has been assigned a 2 nm buffer around the site, which also holds an attributes table on programmes within the buffer area
  • shape files provided by Marine Scotland (January 2012) do not include potential updates or revisions from current work to refresh Regional Locational Guidance     

Other Layers

Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Descriptors

  • Shape files linking monitoring programmes to nine of the 11 MSFD Descriptors
  • Recent UKDMOS work has linked programme parameters to MSFD indicators, criteria and descriptors
  • UKDMOS stress a caveat on these layers as only having the potential to inform MSFD assessments, for example, the MSFD descriptor on biological diversity is linked to all programmes which monitor biological parameters, and the MSFD descriptor on seabed integrity is linked to all programmes which monitor sediment-related parameters

Monitoring Programmes

  • Shape files for each monitoring programme with points/transects/areas plotted against latitude/longitude extracted from UKDMOS files
  • Each programme layer holds an attributes table outlining the monitoring frequency and reference information for each point, and the parameters monitored by the programme
  • Any point/transect/area can be selected and the table will provide the reference information for that point and the range of programme parameters monitored

MPA Search Areas

  • Shape files for Marine Protected Area (MPA) areas of search
  • Site polygons hold attributes tables which include basic information on the search area name, the MPA project recommended action and the monitoring programmes/points/transects within the site area
  • Files provided by Marine Scotland (February 2012) do not include potential updates or revisions from ongoing MPA project work
  • Individual file downloads: Google Earth KMZ or GIS shape file
  • Updated MPA search areas (16/12/2012) Google EarthGIS shape file or ArcMAP layer package

Scottish Sea Areas

Shape files for the 15 Scottish sea regions

  • Each region holds an attributes table that lists the baseline assessment of pressures/status/trends from Scotland’s Marine Atlas
  • The table lists the pressures and the high level status and trend assessments, more detailed information requires users to refer to the Atlas

12 Nautical Mile Limit

  • Polygon shape file representing the 12 nm area limit around Scotland


  • Polygon shape file of Scotland