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SNH Marine Protected Area advice

This page sets out the formal advice from Scottish Natural Heritage on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas in Scotland's seas.


2015 Assessment of the adequacy of the Scottish MPA network for MPA search features

This report presents the results of the assessment of the MPA search features against stage 5 of the MPA selection guidelines. An assessment against this guideline has been completed for the MPA search features in terms of how representation, replication, resilience, range and geographic variation of features, and key linkages (which are components of the stage 5 guideline) have been met for these features.

To view this report, please follow this link  PDF document

2014 SNH advice for completing the MPA network

On the 24th July 2014, we submitted our formal advice to Scottish Government recommending an additional four MPA proposals for designation as Nature Conservation MPAs.

These MPA proposals were developed from the MPA search locations first identified in 2012. Our advice includes details on the boundaries, protected features, draft conservation objectives and the potential contribution that these MPA proposals would make to the network. The data confidence assessments for each of the four MPA proposals are available below. The full suite of documentation including our advice on management options will be provided in the late autumn 2014.

Sea of Hebrides - Data confidence assessment  PDF document

North East Lewis - Data confidence assessment  PDF document

Southern Trench - Data confidence assessment  PDF document

Shiant East Bank - Data confidence assessment  PDF document



In February 2014, SNH provided advice  PDF document  to Marine Scotland on the sensitivity of European Marine Sites to the impacts of fishing activities. The advice was provided to help Marine Scotland identify where additional management is likely to be required.

2013 MPA consultation advice report

The SNH consultation advice report contains our consideration of selected responses made to the 2013 Marine Scotland MPA consultation. We recommended the designation of all 17 MPAs in Scottish territorial waters (<12nm). Our advice covered a wider range of issues including discussions on the principles of network design, the use of evidence, boundary setting, determining conservation objectives, as well as more targeted responses to site-specific issues and the future management of MPAs (MPA).

To view documents prepared for the 2013 public consultation, please follow this link  PDF document .

2012 SNH advice on the selection of Nature Conservation MPAs

2012 Advice to Scottish Government on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas. Provided in 2012, our advice was subsequently included in a Scottish Government report to the Scottish Parliament on progress to identify a network of Marine Protected Areas in Scotland.