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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25975

  • Asked by: Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Date lodged: 5 March 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 18 March 2024


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-19266 by Mairi McAllan on 28 June 2023, whether it will specify the criteria for designating Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and explain how these differ from the criteria for monitoring MPAs, as set out in the previous answer.


Designation of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (ncMPAs) is underpinned by the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 in inshore waters (0-12 nautical miles) and the UK Marine Coastal Act 2009 in offshore waters (12-200 nautical miles).

Classification of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are governed by provisions within the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) in Scotland.

Criteria differs for each site however, the overarching principles remain the same. Site selection for MPAs undertakes a science-based approach that is set out in separate site selection guidelines for ncMPAs , SACs and SPAs .