Priority marine feature surveys within the Small Isles MPA and surrounding waters

Marine Scotland collected and analysed abundance information for species with conservation importance relevant to priority marine features in the Small Isles MPA and the surrounding region (2012 – 2017). Abundance changes for key species and the relationship with fishing activity was assessed.


1. Declines under the M4 criterion of the Scottish Biodiversity List are defined as "An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected significant decline (exceeding expected or known natural fluctuations) in numbers, extent or quality of a marine habitat or species in Scotland (for species, quality relates to life history parameters). Significant decline should be assessed as 25% reduction of area or numbers, or other appropriate threshold (which must be stated and justified)."

2. Rare species under the M2a criterion of the Scottish Biodiversity List are defined as "Species that are rare in Scottish waters, where rarity is assessed as species that occur in less than 6 (c. 1%) of the total number of 10 x 10 km squares or less than 3 (c. 5%) of the ICES rectangles. A mobile species qualifies as nationally rare if the total population size is known, inferred or suspected to be fewer than 250 mature individuals. Vagrant species should not be included under this criterion."



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