Scottish Marine Protected Areas (MPA): monitoring strategy

The Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) monitoring strategy outlines an approach to MPA-related survey and monitoring to ensure that sufficient information is collected to underpin assessment and reporting obligations.


1. The Strategy does not cover the marine areas adjacent to England, Wales or Northern Ireland or areas outside UK jurisdiction adjacent to Scotland.

2. Noting that not all monitoring types lend themselves well to adaptive management.

3. For - cetaceans, seals, marine birds, fish and cephalopods, plankton, benthic habitats and deep sea habitats.

4. SCAAP sets out Ministers’ objectives, policies and proposals to tackle the climate change impacts identified for Scotland

5. A number of existing MPAs (SACs, SPAs, NC MPAs and Ramsar sites) have been submitted to OSPAR and have been adopted as OSPAR MPAs.

6. Monitoring of historic MPAs is led by Historic Environment Scotland and Demonstration and Research MPAs by local stakeholder groups. There may be opportunities to join up monitoring with work under this strategy where these interests coincide.

7. Correct as of November 2023. For more information on the Scottish MPA network please refer to Marine Scotland Information.

8. Climate change has not been pulled out as a specific pressure but is expected to become an increasingly important factor.

9. ScotMap provides spatial information on the fishing activity of Scottish registered commercial fishing vessels under 15 m in overall length. Information is provided on areas in which they fish, and to provide associated information on their fishing vessel

10. Further details are available in a JNCC UK-wide review (McBreen et al., 2016).



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