SNH–MPA Report

reportIdentification of Priority Marine Features in Scottish territorial waters.

This report details stage 4 of the Priority Marine Features project.

It recommends a list of 56 Priority Marine Features contains 82 individual features, comprising 36 habitats and 46 species.

The list was developed from a long list of of 324 species and 151 habitat type already listed as being of nature conservation importance and present within the 12 nm limit around Scotland.

The final list was created by applying six criteria to the original list to establish those considered of greatest importance to Scotland, these were : Proportional Importance (national/regional/global); Decline/Threat of Decline; Functional Importance; Rarity; Data Deficiency; International Commitment.

The first three were used together to determine if a feature was to remain on the list of Priority Marine Features, those remaining were refined through an iterative process involving workshops and discussions. A grouping exercise was then carried out to arrange similar features together, after which a final filtering of the list was undertaken to remove overlapping or duplicate species / habitat types.

Many of the habitats and species are highly characteristic of the Scottish marine environment, such as horse mussel beds, northern sea fan communities and cold-water coral reefs and a representative range of marine habitats and species.

SSACN members have been attending MPA stakeholder workshops since 2011 where we submitted a number of proposals.

Category: Other Organisations

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