We advise the Scottish Government on the designation of Historic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). We work closely with a wide range of stakeholders as part of this process.

Selection

Anyone can apply for a site to be designated.

Find out how to propose a site as a Marine Protected Area.

Field assessment

To help select and assess Historic MPAs, we work with partners to share data and carry out co-ordinated surveys.

More specific site visits may be needed for designation applications and to monitor existing Historic MPAs. We commission assessments where this is the case.

Consultation

We consult with a wide range of interested parties before making recommendations to the Scottish Government on Historic MPA designations.

The only exception to this is where there’s an urgent threat to a marine historic asset. The Scottish Government will designate urgently on our advice without consultation, but it’s only a temporary solution. Full consultation is needed to make the designation permanent.

Designation criteria

All candidates for Historic MPA designation are assessed against the criteria for national importance published in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy. Only nationally important assets can be designated as Historic MPAs.

Download the Historic MPA Guidelines [PDF, 1.2MB]

Download guidance on the Determination of National Importance for Designation of Marine Historic Assets [PDF, 20KB]

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