Protected areas for mobile marine species: consultation on proposals to designate four new Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters

An overview of the consultation on proposals to designate four new Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters, including short summaries of the available documentation.


The Scottish Government's vision is for a marine environment that is clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas; managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this consultation paper. We would welcome your views on the addition of four possible Marine Protected Areas (MPA) to the Scottish MPA network. The sites under consultation are;

  • North-east Lewis
  • Sea of the Hebrides
  • Shiant East Bank
  • Southern Trench

This consultation seeks your views on the following questions:

1. Do you support the designation of these possible Marine Protected Areas?

2. Do you agree that the scientific evidence presented justifies the case for the designation of each site?

3. Do you have any comments on the Conservation and Management Advice for each site?

4. Do you have any comments on the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments for each site?

5. Do you have any comments on the Sustainability Appraisal, including the Environmental Report and the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment?

What documents should I read to answer these questions?

For each site, the following documents are available:

  • Data confidence assessment of the scientific evidence;
  • MPA Selection Guidelines assessment;
  • Conservation and management advice; and
  • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments (BRIAs).

In addition, the following documents provide evidence on all of the possible sites:

  • A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA);
  • A Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA); and
  • A Sustainability Appraisal, combining environmental, social and economic effects.

For additional information please refer to:

  • The Marine Protected Areas Network – 2018 Report to the Scottish Parliament[1]
  • SNH's[2] and JNCC's[3] MPA network web pages
  • SNH's 2014 further advice to the Scottish Government on the development of the Scottish MPA network[4]
  • Marine Scotland's MPA network web pages[5]

To see how the four possible sites interact with current protected areas please visit Marine Scotland Maps[6]. The downloadable GIS data on MPAs is available on Natural Spaces[7] under Open Government Licence.

How do I respond to the consultation?

You are invited to respond to this consultation by 30 August 2019. Please respond to the consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space ( You can access and respond to this consultation online at

Further details on how to respond can be found in Appendix A & B



Back to top