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Stakeholder Engagement

black guillemot copyright Lorne Gill, SNHThe development of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) network is being undertaken in collaboration with marine stakeholders. Engagement is a key element of the process, although the nature, timing and those involved may vary.


Marine Scotland's aim is to achieve a well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas based on the principle of sustainable use. To better achieve this objective, Marine Scotland undertook a 16-week consultation from July to November 2013 to seek views on the proposed network of MPAs as part of the wider Planning Scotland's Seas consultation. There was a great response from the consultation so thank you all for taking the time to respond.

To see the consultation analysis, as well as the consultation documents which will remain available for reference, please visit the Planning Scotland's Seas consultation pages.

Further consultation responses were invited from consultees in relation to the pMPAs, in addition to anything that they may have submitted as part of the original 2013 Planning Scotland’s Seas Marine Protected Areas Consultation. This invitation was open for six weeks between the dates of 12 February and 31 March 2014. The analysis of these responses as an addendum to the report to the 2013 consultation is now available.

For further information and guidance from SNH and JNCC on Marine Protected Areas please use the links below:

Queries were raised with regard to some elements of the network design. Marine Scotland has provided clarification on these points.

MPA Newsletter

At the last MPA workshop in June 2012, you asked to be kept updated on progress and a newsletter was agreed as the best means to provide this update. The latest edition of the MPA newsletter is now available.

MPA Workshops

Five MPA workshops were held between March 2011 and June 2012. These focused on engaging national and international level organisations, or marine specialists, with an interest in the conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment.

All five of the workshop reports and direct outputs are now available in one place and all of the workshop papers, outputs and reports can be accessed below:

  • full list of stakeholder interests who have attended, as well as those who have been invited but have not attended is available. MPA workshops are available online.
  • The first workshop took place in March 2011 and focused on the collation and review of ecological data.
  • The second workshop took place in June 2011 and focused on the review of initial results of an assessment of least-damaged most natural locations. These locations were identified by the project partners as having little activity based on available data and may therefore be in a relatively natural state.
  • The third workshop was held on 26 and 27 October 2011 and focused on the provisional results of the first application of the MPA selection guidelines.
  • The fourth workshop was held on 14 and 15 March 2012 at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) and introduced discussion of new MPA search locations and management.
  • The fifth workshop took place on 27 and 28 June 2012 at Heriot-Watt University. The focus of these discussions was the emerging shape of the proposed network and initial conclusions regarding achieving an ecologically coherent network management through the use of case studies, and feedback on example consultation documents.

Third Party Proposals

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to submit a Third Party Proposal for Nature Conservation and Demonstration and Research MPAs. Your Nature Conservation MPA proposals are highly valued and Marine Scotland hopes to be able to make as much use of them as possible in the development of the MPA network. They are now being considered and assessed for their inclusion and contribution to the network. Demonstration & Research MPA proposals will be considered separately.

Due to the volume of proposals and the time required to satisfactorily assess the submissions in time for completion of this iteration of the network, new proposals for Nature Conservation MPAs will not, unfortunately, be able to be considered for this stage of network development. However, Marine Scotland welcomes any further applications, but please be aware that they may not be considered until the next six-yearly review of the network.