Open Government Licence (OGL)

Assessment areas - Charting Progress 2 (CP2) Regions

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The 2010 Charting Progress 2 assessment (UKMMAS 2010) subdivided UK waters into eight regions to assess how human use and other pressures were affecting the productivity of UK seas. Regional boundaries were developed in 2009, adapting 'regional seas' previously identified on the basis of physical and biological biogeography by the Review of Marine Nature Conservation (RMNC) 2004. The CP2 'Reporting Regions' have subsequently informed a variety of MPA designation, marine assessment and reporting purposes and continue to be used, for example in the selection of Highly Protected Marine Areas, indicators for the ecological status of the water environment, and the aggregation of marine biotope sensitivity information.

JNCC updated the CP2 Reporting Regions dataset in 2022, making improvements to the inner (coastal) and outer (UK maritime limit) boundaries of the reporting regions. This incorporated up-to-date UK Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf limits and mean high water (springs) coastlines across the UK. No substantive changes were made to the biogeographic boundaries, but these were edited to join up with updated coastlines (as required) and minor topological issues (e.g. overlaps between polygons) were also addressed. See lineage for further details.

Note that the use of the CP2 Reporting Regions (or other biogeographic regions and assessment units) by JNCC, the SNCBs and other ALBs will vary by purpose. Variations of the CP2 Reporting Regions may be used for assessment purposes.

Data notes and limitations: • open data coastline datasets used in the 2022 update were of medium spatial resolution, lacking detail in some areas (e.g. sea lochs and islets in the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland, pladdies in Strangford Loch and islets around Northern Ireland). • part of the Scottish Continental Shelf (region 7) boundary was originally drawn to align with the UK Territorial Waters limit around Orkney and Fair Isle. This section of boundary has not been updated and therefore remains consistent with the biogeographic boundary created in 2009. • in the absence of formally agreed maritime limits, linework from the original 2009 CP2 Reporting Regions data set has been retained to represent the boundary between the Northern Ireland Inshore Region and Republic of Ireland inshore waters.

Scottish Assessment areas - Scottish Sea Areas (clean and safe seas monitoring)

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The 15 sea areas are based on areas previously adopted for certain environmental monitoring programmes. The data from these 15 areas can be presented regionally and also reasonably aggregated to form a national picture and to develop information for the two main areas required for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive initial assessment: the Greater North Sea (Area II) and the Celtic Seas (Area III) which are existing sea areas used by OSPAR (the Oslo Paris Convention for the Protection of the North East Atlantic).

Coastal Physiographic Features

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The Scottish coastline consists of a complex environment of marine inlets and linear coast formed by landform process, such as glaciations, over millions of years. This has led to a diverse range of coastline physiographic features which provide different types of habitats for a huge range of marine communities. The habitats of coastal physiographic features substantially differ in their environmental conditions from substrate type, temperature, salinity, and tidal range to wave exposure. These diverse conditions provide unique niches for an abundance of marine life. 


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