Marine environment

Highly Protected Marine Areas

We consulted on proposals to designate at least 10% of Scotland’s seas as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) by 2026, and will publish a full response later in 2023.

In June 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition announced in the Scottish Parliament that the proposals for HPMAs, as consulted on, would not be taken forward. This was based on initial analysis of consultation responses and feedback from engagement with stakeholders.

In her statement, the Cabinet Secretary committed to developing a new pathway and timetable for enhancing marine protection, in line with our draft Biodiversity Strategy ambition for Scotland to be nature-positive by 2030. She also pledged to renew our focus on community-led marine conservation and engaging with local people to co-develop our approach to enhanced marine protection in Scotland.

More details of this work will be published in due course.


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