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.

3. Scope

This Strategy covers the full extent of Scottish Waters. This extends from the coast (at mean high water spring) out to the extent of the UK Continental Shelf Claim Limits (Figure 2).

The Strategy encompasses Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (NC MPAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Ramsar sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and other area based measures[5]. These existing sites are displayed on Figure 2.

Information on the MPA network in Scotland’s seas can be viewed on the National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) portal. Further details on individual sites and their protected features are available online at JNCC’s Site Information Centres and the SNH SiteLink portal.

In some instances, monitoring of features outside of protected areas will be relevant. For example:

  • Mobile species subject to protection within and outwith sites.
  • Benthic features for comparative purposes under some types of monitoring.
  • Opportunistic monitoring of the response of features to changes in management measures elsewhere (e.g. re-opening of fishery closures) to better understand the pressure-state relationships relevant to MPAs.
  • Monitoring of areas potentially at risk because of increased pressure caused by displacement through MPA management measures.

3.1 Exclusions to scope

The Strategy does not extend beyond Scottish Waters. It also excludes geodiversity interests, Historic MPAs and Demonstration and Research MPAs (D&R MPAs)[6]. It does not cover the terrestrial environment.

The Strategy does not consider compliance and socio-economic aspects. An assessment of emerging evidence on the socio-economic impacts of Scotland’s MPAs and new fisheries management measures is available online.

Figure 2. Existing protected areas and other area-based measures encompassed by the Scottish MPA Monitoring Strategy[7].
Map showing Scotland’s MPA network.



Back to top