Proposal to designate Red Rocks and Longay as a Marine Protected Area: consultation

An overview of the consultation to designate a new Marine Protected Area within the Inner Sound of Skye, including short summaries of the available documentation. The MPA will protect flapper skate and their eggs as well as the geodiversity feature, Quaternary of Scotland.


The Scottish Government's vision is for a marine environment that is clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse; managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this consultation paper. We would welcome your views on the designation of Red Rocks and Longay as a Marine Protected Area (MPA), with an associated Marine Conservation Order (MCO).

Under S. 77 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, Scottish Ministers can designate an MPA on an urgent basis without publishing notice of their proposals or consulting those likely to be affected.

Red Rocks and Longay MPA was designated in this way in March 2021, following discovery of a nationally important flapper skate nursery area at the site. An urgent MCO was put in place at the same time to protect flapper skate from pressures in the marine environment, restricting activities which may adversely affect the flapper skate and their eggs.

The urgently designated MPA and urgent MCO are still in place. However, an MPA designated on an urgent basis can only remain in place for a maximum of two years. An urgent MCO can only remain in place for a maximum of one year, although this can be extended by up to a further year if Scottish Ministers intend to make a permanent MCO in respect of the MPA concerned and publish notice of their proposal to do so.

Scottish Ministers intend to designate the Red Rocks and Longay MPA as an MPA on a permanent basis and make an associated MCO and are therefore extending the urgent MCO by making an Urgent Continuation Order following the launch of this consultation. In order to designate an MPA and make an MCO on a permanent basis, the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 requires Scottish Ministers to undertake certain steps, including a public consultation. The permanent orders need to be brought into force by 10 March 2023.

Therefore, the two items below are the subject of this public consultation:

  • Proposal to designate Red Rocks and Longay as a nature conservation MPA on a permanent basis to protect flapper skate and the Quarternary of Scotland geodiversity feature that is providing essential habitat for skate egg-laying.
  • Proposal to make a Marine Conservation Order (MCO) on a permanent basis to further the stated conservation objectives for the Red Rocks and Longay MPA.

This consultation seeks your views on the following questions:

1. Do you support the designation of Red Rocks and Longay as a permanent Marine Protected Area (MPA)?

2. Do you agree that the scientific evidence presented supports and justifies the case for the designation of the site?

3. Do you agree with the list of proposed protected features?

4. Do you have any comments on the Conservation and Management Advice (CMA) for the Red Rocks & Longay Marine Protected Area (MPA)?

5. Do you agree with the list of prohibited activities included in the draft Marine Conservation Order (MCO) which may impact flapper skate eggs?

6. Do you have any comments on the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)?

7. Do you have any comments on the draft Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) screening?

What documents should I read to answer these questions?

The following documents are available which provide additional information on the proposal for the Red Rocks and Longay MPA:

  • Draft Marine Protected Area Designation Order for Red Rocks and Longay MPA;
  • Draft Marine Conservation Order for Red Rocks and Longay MPA;
  • Data Confidence Assessment of the scientific evidence (DCA);
  • Detailed Assessment Against the MPA Selection Guidelines (DAAG);
  • Conservation and Management advice (CMA);
  • MPA Fisheries Guidance Note - Flapper skate;
  • Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments (BRIA); and
  • Draft Island Communities Impact Assessment Screening (ICIA).

For additional information please refer to:

To see how the site interacts with current protected areas and other marine activities please visit Marine Scotland Maps. The downloadable GIS data on MPAs is available on Natural Spaces under Open Government Licence.

How do I respond to the consultation?

You are invited to respond to this consultation by 26 April 2022. Please respond to the consultation online using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space.

Further details on how to respond can be found in Appendix A



Back to top