JNCC have produced Conservation Objectives for the West of Scotland proposal. The Conservation Objectives describe the current and desired ecological or geological state (or quality) of each proposed protected feature. They are either to 'conserve' or 'recover' a feature. Where evidence exists that the feature is in an unfavourable condition at the site, the Conservation Objective will be to 'recover', otherwise it will be to 'conserve'.
JNCC have produced management advice. They have used a risk-based approach that considers each of the proposed protected features, the conservation objectives, and the activities which could affect their condition.
The responsibility for site management sits with Public Authorities who regulate activities. There are provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 which place duties on Public Authorities in relation to their own functions and any decisions they make to allow activities they regulate to take place.
The extent to which, in the opinion of the Scottish Ministers, the stated conservation objectives have been achieved is required to be reported on a six yearly cycle, and the last report was published in 2018. Appropriate monitoring is important for forming an opinion for the report. The monitoring of the MPA network is covered in the Scottish MPA Monitoring Strategy which sets out how monitoring of the network should be prioritised and carried out. The results of monitoring are also used to inform future decisions on management.
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