Improving protection given to Priority Marine Features outside the Marine Protected Area network

Marine Scotland commissioned Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to identify locations where there is a need to consider additional management for bottom contacting mobile fishing gears to ensure there is no significant impact on the national status of Priority Marine Features (PMF) within the 6 nautical mile (NM) limit.

Marine Scotland and SNH identified 11 habitats which are particularly sensitive to impact from bottom contacting mobile fishing gears.

The 11 Priority Marine Features are:

  • Blue mussel beds
  • Cold water coral reefs
  • Fan mussel aggregations
  • Flame shell beds
  • Horse mussel beds
  • Maerl beds
  • Maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers
  • Native oysters
  • Northern sea fan and sponge communities
  • Seagrass beds
  • Serpulid aggregations

Marine Scotland is carrying out a consultation to seek views on the scope of the project to improve protection given to PMFs outside the MPA network.

For more information and to take part in the consultation click here