Report to the Scottish Parliament on Progress to Identify a Scottish Network of Marine Protected Areas

This reports on which sites are currently included in the MPA network and outlines progress on Nature Conservation MPAs, Historic MPAs, and Demonstration and Research MPAs.

Socio-economics in the identification process

Nature Conservation MPAs in Scotland are being identified using a science-led approach, with provision for Scottish Ministers to have regard "to any social or economic consequences of designation" [9] when considering whether it is desirable to designate an area as a Nature Conservation MPA.

It has been possible to consider socio-economics where there are 2 sites of equal ecological value, but we have been adopting a science-led approach as far as possible to ensure we are getting the best environmental benefit from the network.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Impact Assessment will be combined to form an overall Sustainability Appraisal to accompany the 2013 public consultation.

The purpose of the Sustainability Appraisal is to inform the scientific recommendations with the socio-economic and wider environmental considerations, without losing sight of the overall benefits of the network ahead of the public consultation. The Sustainability Appraisal will also consider questions of displacement and the approach to the use of search location alternatives.

Nephrops in burrowed mud


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