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.

4. Scottish MPA Monitoring Strategy - Guiding principles

In developing our approach to monitoring and assessment, we will apply the following series of guiding principles:

  • The MPA Monitoring Strategy will be implemented in partnership with stakeholders and will be reviewed regularly and updated to reflect changing priorities, new knowledge, and available resources.
  • Spend on MPA-related monitoring should be balanced against other activities that can help improve the conservation status of MPA features, and survey work outside the network that may improve our understanding of wider feature distribution and status.
  • Our MPA monitoring approach should be integrated as far as possible with other current activities to minimise resource requirements. We will work to achieve better co-ordination, share costs and avoid duplication.
  • The existing valuable contribution from stakeholders in establishing the Scottish marine biodiversity knowledge-base is recognised. We will continue to develop opportunities for future collaborative delivery of marine environmental monitoring.
  • We will apply the most appropriate monitoring methods and test novel techniques.
  • Other marine biodiversity monitoring commitments will continue to be pursued and evidence collected under this Strategy will be used for those purposes.
  • Sampling of habitats which occur within Scottish MPAs as part of routine MPA monitoring may represent a cost-effective mechanism for helping to meet wider assessment needs.
  • The order in which monitoring surveys take place will be constrained by logistics (e.g. availability of suitable vessels; effects of weather down time etc.).
  • Appropriate standards and management systems will be used. This will include Quality Assurance (QA) and ensuring discoverability and accessibility of data.



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