Highly Protected Marine Areas: consultation
This consultation paper sets out the background, process, and rationale for Scottish Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA), as well as containing the consultation questions.
4. Responses and next steps
4.1. Responding to this consultation
We are inviting responses to this consultation by 20 March 2023.
Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space. Access and respond to this consultation online at Scottish Highly Protected Marine Areas. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 20 March 2023.
If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the Respondent Information Form to:HPMA Policy Team
The Scottish Government
Area 1B North
4.2. Handling your response
If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document.
4.3. Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at Citizen Space. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.
4.4. Stakeholder Engagement
We have published our Stakeholder Engagement Plan, which can be accessed via the 'Get involved and keep updated' section of our HPMA website. This explains how and when the Scottish Government intend to engage with stakeholders on the identification and designation of HPMAs and sets out opportunities to participate and make a meaningful difference.
We will formally consult separately on proposals for the designation of specific sites. In order to deliver the ministerial commitment of designating at least 10% of Scottish seas as HPMAs by 2026, the formal public consultation on site proposals will likely take place in 2025.
4.5. Comments and complaints
If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted,
please send them to the contact address above or at HPMA@gov.scot.
4.6. Scottish Government consultation process
Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
You can find all our consultations online at Citizen Space. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.
Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision-making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.
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