Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) - site selection: draft guidelines

Guidelines describing the proposed process for identifying and selecting Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in Scottish waters. These were drafted by our statutory nature conservation advisors, NatureScot and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

6 Use of evidence

HPMA designation will use the best available evidence. This could include information from a variety of national or local sources such as industry, conservation organisations, recreational bodies, academia, environmental interest groups and individuals. Evidence from a range of data collection methods will be considered; for example direct sampling data, remote-sensing data, modelled data, and social data.

Whilst there will be a preference for relying upon existing data wherever possible to identify potential locations for HPMAs, the process will be adaptive and responsive to new datasets. Work will include the identification, collation and analyses of existing data sets where necessary to address knowledge gaps. This is expected to include the use of modelling techniques to maximise benefits and minimise socio-economic impacts. The best-available, robust and reliable evidence will be used, and decisions will take account of data collection methods, and the quality of and confidence in relevant data.

Workshops will provide opportunities for stakeholders to contribute to the evidence base and comment on how current knowledge is being utilised. Evidence used in developing HPMA proposals will be shared throughout and published in an appropriate format at the time of public consultation on proposed sites. This will allow transparency of decision-making and an opportunity for comment by a wide range of interests.


Email: HPMA@gov.scot

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