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2018 SEA Consultation

As part of the process required to fulfil our requirements under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) 2005 Act and the EU Wild Birds Directive to identify marine SPAs for marine birds, the Scottish Government is consulting on:

  • a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of 15 Special Protection Area (SPA) proposals
  • the accompanying SPA Network Assessment

The role of the SEA is to understand environmental impacts the proposals might have on species as well as the wider marine environment, and the accompanying SPA network assessment addresses queries raised at the 2016 consultation.

Please respond to the consultation here before the 9th November to provide your views.

2016 Consultation on Marine SPAs

The 2016 consultation on 15 proposed Special Protection Areas (pSPAs) in Scottish waters has now closed. The consultation was led by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), with support from both Marine Scotland and JNCC.

For each of the Marine pSPAs Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and/or the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has produced:

  • a site selection document (the scientific case for designation)

  • advice to support management of relevant activities, and

  • a brief, illustrated site summary leaflet

Marine Scotland has also produced:

Marine SPAs

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are classified under the EU Birds Directive, which requires the Member States of the European Community to identify and classify the most suitable territories, in size and number, for certain rare or vulnerable species (listed in Annex I of the Directive) and for regularly-occurring migratory species. SPAs are intended to safeguard the habitats of the species for which they are selected and to protect the birds from significant disturbance.

Scotland currently has 45 existing marine SPAs, of which 31 are extensions to seabird colony SPAs.

Following many years of survey and analysis, SNH and JNCC have now submitted their formal scientific advice on a proposed suite of marine SPAs to Scottish Ministers. The proposed SPA suite comprises 15 marine areas used by 31 species of seabird. These marine areas are identified as being important foraging areas for many of our breeding seabirds and many migratory birds that return each year, in some cases travelling thousands of miles to over-winter.

A workshop was held in Edinburgh in March 2016 to discuss the proposals with key industry and environmental stakeholders. A report outlining the outcomes from the workshop and providing responses to various pre-workshop queries is now available to view.

Marine SPAs - Q&A

Downloadable document:

Title:Marine SPAs
Description:Information on the marine SPA network in Scottish waters
File:General Q&A on Marine SPAs [PDF, 167.3 kb: 05 Oct 2016]
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