Marine Protected Area Network - 2018 Report to the Scottish Parliament

A report to Parliament on progress being made in

implementing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) network.

Looking ahead to the next six years

Great progress has been made in developing the Scottish MPA network over the last six years. For the next six years the focus will be on finishing ongoing actions to complete the Scottish MPA network, deliver any necessary management measures, and continue our monitoring programme. Our aim is to be able to report more authoritatively on MPA status in 2024.

In order to complete the Scottish MPA network the following work is ongoing:

  • Nature conservation proposals are being progressed for seabirds, waders and seaducks, basking shark, Risso's dolphin and minke whale.
  • Progressing assessment of historic wrecks - The Queen of Sweden wreck near Shetland, and the wartime history of Scapa Flow. A small number of other assessments may be anticipated as new discoveries come to light.
  • Development of a Deep Sea Marine Reserve to safeguard marine life that is under threat in deeper waters across the North-east Atlantic.

In order to ensure the Scottish MPA network is well-managed the following work is also ongoing:

  • Progressing further fisheries measures as required to achieve site objectives.
  • Ensuring that Public Authorities get clear advice to inform their decision making where an MPA may be affected.
  • Trialing innovative approaches to MPA management planning, working with local communities and other stakeholders to develop these.

We will continue to implement the Scottish MPA monitoring strategy to improve the evidence base. Over time this will enable better assessments of progress towards achieving site objectives to be made. Additional data needs to be collected to build a time series that enables any change in condition to be determined. This means that future reports will be able to provide greater clarity on the ecological benefits of the Scottish MPA network.


The next cycle (2019-2024)

Infographic text:

The next cycle (2019-2024)
Complete MPA network
Make network well-managed
Monitor to build evidence base
Assess status


Email: Michael McLeod

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