Changes to the Scottish MPA network since 2012 report
The Scottish MPA network has changed considerably since the last report to Parliament in 2012, and now better reflects the variety of life found in our seas. In total these 231 MPAs protect 22% of our seas, which represents a considerable step forward from the position in 2012.
The evolution of the Scottish MPA network between 2013 and 2018
A total of 42 new MPAs have been designated to protect marine habitats, wildlife, geology, undersea landforms, historic shipwrecks, and to demonstrate sustainable management of the sea. In addition, two existing sites have been extended to better protect seabed habitats. All of the new sites and changes are listed in Annex 1.
The new sites mean that more features are now protected within the Scottish MPA network. These include black guillemot, flame shell beds, common skate, seamounts, warships and merchant trading vessels. From a nature conservation perspective this makes the Scottish MPA network more representative of the range of habitats and species found in our seas.
Some changes have been made in how sites in the Scottish MPA network are counted since the last report, and these are listed in Annex 2. This has resulted in MPAs for otters and some intertidal areas being included in the network. These changes have not changed the protected status of any sites. The change is only one of recognition of being considered part of the Scottish MPA network.
The other area based measures contributing to the Scottish MPA network are listed in Annex 3. Although not specifically created for nature conservation purposes these sites contribute to the protection of marine biodiversity. They support progress towards delivering Good Environmental Status particularly in terms of maintaining or improving biodiversity and seafloor integrity.
42 MPAs added to the network between 2013 and 2018
Email: Michael McLeod