A consultation on proposals to designate four Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters

Closes 30 Aug 2019

Opened 7 Jun 2019


The Scottish Government's vision is for a marine environment that is clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas; managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people.

Scotland’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) network is being developed to help safeguard our most important natural and cultural heritage features on the principle of sustainable use. By doing so we are protecting the natural goods and services they provide for current and future generations to enjoy.

We would welcome your views on the addition of four possible MPAs to the Scottish MPA network. The sites under consultation are;

  • North-east Lewis
  • Sea of the Hebrides
  • Shiant East Bank
  • Southern Trench

The proposed protected features of these sites include basking shark, minke whale, Risso's dolphin, as well as seabed habitats and geological features.

Whales and dolphins, collectively known as cetaceans, as well as basking sharks are protected wherever they occur throughout Scottish waters. The four possible MPAs would offer additional levels of protection to locations important for the various life stages of these species.

Supporting Information

For full details of the sites and proposals, and the assessments undertaken, please refer to the following links and documents at the bottom of this page.

Scottish Natural Heritage - Advice on the possible MPAs

Marine Scotland - Further information on the possible MPAs

Consultation Drop-in Events

The Scottish MPA Network

Frequently Asked Questions

Locations of the Four Possible MPAs


Why We Are Consulting

This consultation seeks your views on the four possible MPAs, in particular:

  1. The scientific case for designation of each site
  2. The draft management advice for each of the site
  3. The potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of each of the sites

This page serves as notice under Section 75 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and Section 119 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Read the consultation paper

Give us your views


  • Anyone from any background


  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Economy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Marine and Fisheries