Natural Spaces

Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas

Last update: 2017-11-15


Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can be designated by Scottish Ministers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. A suite of 30 Nature Conservation MPAs (MPAs) were designated by Scottish Ministers on the 24th July, 2014. The boundaries of the designated Nature Conservation MPAs provided in this dataset represent the final recommendations within both the 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea limit (on the basis of advice provided by Scottish Natural Heritage - the Scottish Government's adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland) and in the UK offshore waters adjacent to Scotland (on the basis of advice provided by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee- the statutory adviser to UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation).
The following URLs provide links to further information on the Nature Conservation MPAs, the wider network and protected areas management:, and
The dataset also includes the boundaries of 4 further MPA proposals within territorial waters. The details of these proposals are set out in SNH Commissioned Report No.780
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