Sea of Hebrides Marine Protected Area: business and regulatory impact assessment

An assessment of the business and regulatory impacts of designating the Sea of Hebrides Marine Protected Area.

Annex A: Summary of Ecosystem Benefits that can be derived from designation of Sea of Hebrides MPA

Summary of Ecosystem Services Benefits arising from the Designation and Management of the Site as an MPA (2019 – 2038) SOH
Services Relevance
to Site
On-site /
Baseline Level Estimated Impacts of Management Value Weighting Scale of Benefits Confidence
Lower Intermediate Upper
Fish and shellfish for human consumption Moderate, benthic habitat and sandeels contribute to the food web On-site and off-site Stocks not at MSY Nil Minimal, small recovery of fish stocks possible Moderate, sandeels are import in food webs for commercial species and priority wildlife species Minimal Moderate
Fish and shellfish for non-human consumption Stocks reduced from potential maximum
Climate regulation Moderate, in coastal areas On-site Function of carbonate production areas may decline Minimal Minimal–Low, from prevention of damage to carbonate production areas Moderate Nil High
Waste breakdown/ detoxification Moderate, some biogenic benthic features (e.g. sea fans) provide this service On-site and off-site Low Minimal Low, water quality in this area not affecting human welfare Nil High
Non-use value of natural environment Moderate, Basking shark, Minke whale and sandeels, and contribution of the site to MPA network, have non-use value On-site Non-use value of the site may decline Moderate – Low, protection of features of site from potential future decline, but parts of site already protected Moderate, protection of features is valued by divers & anglers (Kenter et al. 2013). Moderate Moderate, extent of features, responses to management scenarios, and value to society all uncertain
Low, recovery of features possible
Recreation Moderate, wildlife tourism and recreation at site, including angling (Kenter et al. 2013) On-site Recreation value of the site may decline Minimal, protection of features of site Low, protection of features of site that contribute to recreation, allowing some recovery Moderate – High, recreation and tourism support jobs, and are valued (Kenter et al. 2013). Low – Moderate Low – Moderate, extent of change from management scenarios uncertain.
Research and Education Moderate, small number of biological features have research value, but there are substitutes On-site Value of site may decline Minimal, protection of features of site Low, protection of key characteristics of site from decline, improving future research opportunities. Low, for individual features. Moderate for opportunity to understand response of range of features to management. Low Low – Moderate, extent to which research uses site in future uncertain.
Designation may play role in communicating management needs.
Total value of changes in ecosystem services   Value of site may decline Minimal for lower scenario, Low for intermediate and upper scenario, designation has Moderate–Low non-use value to protecting site from future decline (Kenter et al. 2013) Low – Moderate Moderate
Total value of changes in ecosystem services Low Moderate Moderate



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