Marine Protected Area (MPA) network

What is it: 

Scotland has some of the most beautiful and diverse marine ecosystems in the world. Marine Scotland is committed to protecting and enhancing these amazing ecosystems to ensure they are safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.  Protected areas are used to ensure protection of some of the most vulnerable species and habitats.  

The Scottish MPA network (also shown on this map) includes sites for nature conservation, protection of biodiversity, demonstrating sustainable management, and protecting our heritage. In total the network covers approximately 22% of our seas and comprises:

  • 217 sites for nature conservation protecting a broad range of habitats and species that are found in our seas.  Habitats range from rocky shores and sea caves at the coastline to deep sea habitats such as coral gardens and Lophelia pertusa.  Species range from harbour porpoise to common skate to puffins.

  • 5 other area based measures which protect species such as sandeels and blue ling, as well as vulnerable marine ecosystems.

  • 1 Demonstration and Research MPA around Fair Isle to investigate the factors affecting seabird populations demonstrate the socio-economic benefits of the marine environment.

  • 8 Historic MPAs to preserve sites of historical importance around the Scottish coast.

In December 2018 Scottish Ministers laid a report in the Scottish Parliament describing progress with implementing the MPA network.

Data of Data: 2018

Links to Scotland's Marine Atlas: 
This information page is part of the theme: 
Scottish MPA Network 2018 map © Marine Scotland

Links and Resources

Map Type Click title for metadata and licence informationsort descending Date of data View Map
NMPi Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Areas (DR MPA) contributing to the MPA Network (OSCP) 2018-06-27 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Historic Marine Protected Areas (HMPAs) - protected wrecks contributing to the MPA network (HES WMS) (OSCP) Access this map on NMPi
NMPi MPA Report to Parliament update - March 2013 2013-03-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi MPAs in Planning Scotland's Seas 2013 Consultation - July 2013 2013-07-23 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) contributing to the MPA network (SNH WMS) (OSCP) 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Other area based measures contributing to the MPA network - SNH advice to ministers - 2013 2017-03-21 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Possible marine bird special protected areas (pSPA) contributing to the MPA Network (SNH WMS) 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Possible MPA - Loch Carron - consultation boundary - 20 March 2018 (SNH WMS) Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Proposals for remaining Nature Conservation MPAs - December 2014 2014-12-15 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Ramsar sites contributing to the MPA Network (SNH WMS) (OSCP) Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Search locations for Nature Conservation MPAs - June 2013 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) contributing to the MPA network (SNH WMS) (OSCP) 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) contributing to the MPA network (SNH WMS) (OSCP) 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi Special Protection Areas (SPAs) contributing to the MPA network (SNH WMS) (OSCP) 2013-07-01 Access this map on NMPi